Dirk E. Hebel is full professor of Sustainable Construction at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Prior to that, he was assistant professor of Architecture and Construction at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. He was also the founding scientific director of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He is the author of numerous book publications, lately Cultivated Building Materials (2017, Birkhäuser, with Felix Heisel), SUDU – The Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit (2015, Ruby Press, with Melakeselam Moges and Zara Gray), Building from Waste: Recovered Materials in Architecture and Construction (2014, Birkhäuser, with Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel), and Cities of Change: Addis Ababa (2009, Birkhäuser, with Marc Angélil).


Dirk Hebel practices architecture by activating unusual building materials such as air (DISCOVERIES, an exhibition for the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prize Winners and  ON_AIR, and installation for KunstWerke Berlin), water (as the project manager for the BLUR Building for EXPO.02 in Switzerland), bamboo (in his research on new bamboo composite materials for the building sector), or waste (as in the New York ETH Pavillion for IDEAS CITIES 2015 and the award-winning project UNITED_BOTTLE). Dirk Hebel was one of the founding partners of INSTANT Architects (2002-2008).  

His research concentrates on a metabolic understanding of resources and investigates alternative building materials and construction techniques and their applications in developed as well as developing territories.

A. Prof. Delia Duong Ba Wendel (MIT)

Best paper prize

Delia Duong Ba Wendel is an Assistant Professor of International Development and Urban Planning at MIT. She studies how communities rebuild and recover from conflict and disaster.
Current research focuses on post-genocide reconstruction in Rwanda and draws significantly from anthropology, cultural theory, and peace and development studies.


She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.
Wendel’s work has been published in the Journal of Urban Design, the Handbook of Architectural Theory, and New Orleans and the Design Moment.
She is co-editor of the Graham Foundation funded anthology, Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place.

Prof. Chadzimula O. Molebatsi (University of Botswana)

Best global south paper prize

Chadzimula O. Molebatsi is a human geographer and urban planner and teaches in the Department of Architecture and Planning, University of Botswana.

His main research interest is in the democratisation of urban planning and the question of governance. He is currently working on Decolonising Space production in Botswana’s urban villages. He has published widely in the areas of urban planning and urbanisation.

Mr. Jhono Bennett (University of Pretoria)

Best emerging scholar paper prize

Jhono Bennett is an architectural urbanist based in Johannesburg, having been trained in Durban, Cape Town he holds a master’s degree with distinction from the University of Pretoria.

Jhono is a researcher at the University of Johannesburg around the themes of socially engaged design practice while managing the operations of 1to1 - Agency of Engagement; a non-profit entity that provides a design based collaborative service between grass roots organisations, professionals, academia and government.

Keynote speakers invited to the conference are :

Prof. Dirk E. Hebel (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)