PhilaU Architecture Graduate Earns Top Honor in Dencity Competition


Lauren Brosius, B.Arch ’15, won second place in the 2016 Dencity Competition.

Philadelphia University alumnus Lauren Brosius, B.Arch ’15, has earned second place in the 2016 Dencity Competition, a design contest that works to foster new ideas on how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of this global problem.

A continuation of her PhilaU thesis project for architecture professor Chris Harnish, her winning submission focused on Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, South Africa, home to a fluctuating population of 350,000 to 700,000 people in a 2 square mile area.

“Alexandra is characterized by the residents’ struggle for the right to remain in the city,” Brosius explained. “The intent of this project was to understand growing urban centers and design an effective, yet personalized solution that addressed housing and infrastructure. My thesis statement which drove all of my research and design was: A more effective government housing strategy focused on user participation, flexibility and micro-grids may receive greater user satisfaction and control infrastructure challenges and urban density.”

She won $1,500, and her work will be published in several international online magazines.

“We congratulate Lauren for addressing the global challenge of informal communities,” said David Breiner, associate dean for the College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “In her award-winning scheme, she proposes a practical solution that recognizes how people actually live in codependent environments, and in doing so, she helps raise the profile of our College and University. Lauren’s interest in South Africa reflects recent opportunities that many of our architecture students have had working with professor Chris Harnish, whose specialty is humanitarian architecture in Africa.”

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