Ute Weiland

Ute Elisabeth Weiland is the CEO of Germany - Land of Ideas.
She has been the Deputy Director of the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft (AHG), Deutsche Bank's international forum, from 2008-2016. She joined the AHG in 2003, and has served as a member of the Executive Board of the Urban Age conference series at the London School of Economics (LSE) since 2004. In 2010 Weiland became a member of the Governing Board of LSE Cities, an international centre that focuses on how the design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment. Weiland has coordinated the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award in seven different cities since its inception in 2007. Together with Marcos L Rosa she co-edited the book, Handmade Urbanism—from Community Initiatives to Participatory Models [Jovis, 2013].


Marcos L. Rosa

Marcos L. Rosa is an Architect and urban planner (FAU USP) with a Doctorate in Regional Planning and Urban Design from the Technical University of Munich. Curator of urbanxchanger, he is currently the Director of Content for the São Paulo Architecture Biennial. Rosa has lectured at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), and the Escola da Cidade in São Paulo. He has published a number of books, including Microplanning, Urban Creative Practices (2011), Handmade Urbanism (2013), and From Large Scale Infrastructures to Network Urbanism (2016). He has also had several articles published and has participated in workshops worldwide. Working together with the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft (2008-2013) and ETH (2010-2011) Rosa created and directed platforms for collaborative mapping in Zürich, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. His work includes experimental research, teaching, and design, with a focus on participatory design, and the editing and rethinking of existing structures.


Edwin Heathcote

Writer and architect, Edwin Heathcote, is best-known as the architecture and design critic for the Financial Times. Heathcote has authored around a dozen books, has a regular column in GQ magazine, as well as writing for numerous other publications, including Icon, Apollo and L'Architecture d'Aujord'hui.  He is also the founder and editor of, a non-profit archive of critical writing on all aspects of design.


Ana Alvarez

Ana Alvarez graduated with a degree in mathematics, but has changed her focus since graduating, and for the past ten years has worked on various urban research projects. She is co-founder of Citámbulos, an interdisciplinary collective that produces books and exhibitions on Mexico City. Citámbulos have participated in a number of international exhibitions, including exhibitions at the German Centre for Architecture in Berlin, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico. Alvarez has also collaborated on films by renowned directors, Doris Dörrie and Alonso Ruizpalacios, which depict Mexico City's unique character. In 2015, Alvarez co-curated the exhibition, La Vuelta a la Bici, which was on display at the Franz Mayer Museum of Design. She has also lent her hand to writing, and is the co-author of the book Handmade Urbanism.


Nitin Bathla

Nitin Bathla is an architect and urban practitioner based in Delhi, India. Since completing his MAS Urban Design degree at ETH Zürich, he has been invested in establishing a socially-rooted design and research practice, to develop and test design tools for social action. In 2014 Bathla was the manager of the Urban Age Award in Delhi, following which he continued to actively collaborate with many of the grassroots initiatives that had participated in the programme. His work follows a variety of socially relevant urban themes, such as participatory design, improving the livelihoods of the urban poor, social and human mapping, public and street design advocacy, knowledge transfer, civic governance and spatial design. Working from a small, shared office space in central Delhi, Bathla is currently developing a live platform aimed at fostering relationships between grassroots communities and stakeholders responsible for city planning.


Lindsay Bush

Lindsay Bush is an architect and urban designer who relocated to her hometown, Durban, in 2015. She has travelled extensively, working and studying in a number of different countries. Her professional interests include urban regeneration, informality and participatory design. Bush has contributed to several publications, most recently the Cape Town chapter of Handmade Urbanism. After working as a Programme Manager for the City of Cape Town where her focus was on better area-based urban improvement in the city, she now consults on participatory processes, facilitating co-creation workshops and assisting governments, NGOs and communities in working together to address issues faced by urban dwellers. Bush also teaches at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


Vapor 324 + Bandoni + Masagão

Vapor 324 joined forces with Andrea Bandoni and Julia Masagão to form the urbanXchanger team for São Paulo. The result is a team of multidisciplinary architects with differing skills, but a similar style that is characterised by site-specific research, fieldwork, and a hands-on approach to design.

Andrea Bandoni

Andrea Bandoni is a Brazilian conceptual designer with a strong focus on sustainability and innovation. She is a qualified architect (FAU USP) and has her Masters from Design Academy Eindhoven. The Object Without a Story and Objects of the Forest are two of her most significant projects. An award-winning designer, Andrea’s work has been exhibited and acquired by museums and galleries in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Italy and China.

Julia Masagão

Julia Masagão is an architect and urban planner who holds a Masters degree in Space Strategies from the Berlin Weissensee School of Art. She works as a graphic designer, with a focus on cultural programmes and publishing. Highlights of Masagão’s career include developing a new visual identity for the São Paulo Cultural Centre (CCSP, 2013), and having her design chosen as the official logo for the centenary celebrations of architect, Vilanova Artigas.

Vapor 324

Four young architects, Fabio Riff, Fabrizio Lenci, Thomas Frenk and Rodrigo Oliveira make up Vapor 324. The group concern themselves with the construction of space on three fronts: graphic, audiovisual and architectural media; each of which fulfill equally crucial and complementary roles in their many and varied projects. Vapor 324’s recent projects include interventions on the façades of buildings (IAB corpo Cidade; Homo Ludens), and the generation of visual content for exhibitions and urban plans (X Bienal de Arquitetura; Video mapping for National Geographic).


ConstructLab is a collaborative construction practice and European network involved in both ephemeral and permanent projects. Unlike the conventional architectural process in which the architect designs and the builder builds, at constructLab projects, conception and construction are brought together. The designer-builders bring the site to life through their presence, generating a collective synergy that combines existing knowledge, and unexpected opportunities, to strengthen the sense of place. ConstructLab binds the creative and the practical, the thinking and the making.

The practice was initiated in 1998 by Alexander Römer, and has collaborated on a long list of projects, both in Europe and internationally. In 2005 constructLab teamed up with the French collective, EXYZT, of which Alexander is now a permanent member, participating in Metavilla, France’s contribution to the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. ConstructLab has also collaborated on projects with a number of other collectives, including Raumlabor (Berlin), Esterni (Milan), Zoom (Grenoble) and Re-Biennale (Venice).


Rozana Montiel + Claudia Rodriguez + Daniel Jaramillo

Rozana Montiel

Rozana Montiel is the founder of the Mexico-based architectural firm, Rozana Montiel | Estudio de Arquitectura, which specialises in architectural design, and the artistic re-conceptualisation of public spaces. The studio works on a wide variety of projects, ranging from city-level to micro-object, from artifacts to books. Recently they have been involved in rehabilitating public spaces in social housing estates. Montiel has won a number of awards, including a 2016 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York, and her firm is one of three nominated for the 2016 Schelling Architecture Award. Montiel was also the recipient of grants from the National Fund for Culture and Arts (Mexico) in 2010 and 2013, and the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in 2007. Her interdisciplinary work has been published in renowned architectural digests, exhibited in Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, the United States, England and China, and presented in the São Paulo, Rotterdam and Lima Biennials. Montiel is currently presenting the project, Walk the Line, in the 2016 Venice Biennale.

Claudia Rodríguez

Claudia Rodríguez is an architect with experience in site planning, landscape design and participatory design processes. A former partner at Taller de Operaciones Ambientales (TOA), Rodríguez is currently living in Mexico City, with her work focusing on sustainable local development. Rodríguez is co-founder of Co-Plataforma, an association that promotes social businesses, as well as initiatives with a positive socio-environmental impact.

Daniel Jaramillo Hincapié

Daniel Hincapié is an agronomist with a permaculture diploma in community work and site design. He has extensive experience in participatory design having worked on community projects throughout Latin America. His focus is on the implementation of projects that regenerate the ecological function of landscapes, while promoting social productivity.



Founded in Berlin in 2001 by Sabine Mu?ller and Andreas Quednau, SMAQ is a collaborative studio for architecture, urbanism and research. Müller  is Professor of Urbanism at Oslo School of Architecture and Design, with Quednau employed as Professor of Urban Design at Leipniz University in Hanover. The studio has conducted urban research projects, as well as architectural, landscape, and urban projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. SMAQ’s current projects include a new residential development in Wolfsburg, a historical centre in Rostock (Germany), Grorud Senter (Norway), and a housing complex in Hannover. SMAQ received an AR Emerging Architecture Award for their public baths in Stuttgart and the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction for their Master Plan for Xeritown in Dubai. The studio’s speculative project Ex-Palm was published as the Charter of Dubai (Jovis, 2012).


Noero Architects

Established in Johannesburg in 1984, Noero Architects is currently located in Cape Town, and has completed more than 200 projects, including cultural and community centres, and residential houses. They have received a number of international design awards, including the RIBA Lubetkin Prize (UK) and the Ralph Erskine Award (Sweden), as well as a multitude of national accolades and awards, including three Awards of Excellence from SAIA. Their work has been exhibited at the Venice, São Paulo and Chicago Biennales, the MAXXI in Rome, MoMA in New York and the Museum of Architecture in Munich.

Founder, Jo Noero, was appointed Emeritus Professor of Architecture at UCT in 2015, where he also worked as the Director of the School of Architecture and Planning between 2000 and 2005. Before taking up his position at UCT Noero was based in America as the Director of Graduate Studies at Washington University. Noero is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and a Fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In 2010 Noero received the SAIA Gold Medal for Architecture.


BAU Collaborative

Founded in 2015 by Rainer Hehl, BAU Co is an international building group and collaborative network for architecture and urban design practice. The group is committed to knowledge transfer and the implementation of best practice in the field of urban and natural systems. By investigating urban informality, popular culture and hybridised modernity, BAU Co seeks to improve everyday environments and contribute to the proliferation of architecture and urban design culture.


Anagram Architects

Anagram Architects was established in 2001 by partners Vaibhav Dimri and Madhav Raman, graduates of the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. The firm’s practice is diverse, and encompasses public infrastructure planning, urban design, architecture, sceneography and broadcast design, as well as furniture and interior design.

Anagram Architects is internationally recognised for its commitment to delivering deeply contextual designs that encourage sustainable lifestyles. They use both traditional and non-conventional practices to develop culturally relevant, contextually responsive and resource-efficient design solutions.


FAR frohn&rojas

FAR frohn&rojas is a networked architectural design and research practice located in Berlin, Santiago de Chile and Los Angeles. The name is an acknowledgement of both the geographic spread of the practice, as well as the increasingly widening professional scope that is shaping its work. The setup mirrors that of global corporates, but rather than production based on the bottom line and cutting costs, FAR is using the model as a means of establishing a more diversified type of architecture, one in which the inherent contradictions between geographies and the stretching of disciplinary boundaries allow formerly unidentifiable links to thrive.


*The four community description references can be found in their own description.