WiBEN Speakers

Dr. Faith Ng’eno Chelang’at

Ph.D., MSc. SAS., B.Arch. FHEA, BORAQS Kenya (Architect)
Dr. Ng’eno is a practising architect and lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya. She has a Ph.D. (Architecture) and MSc. (Sustainable Architecture Studies) both from The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), UK. Chelang’at has been involved in teaching at The University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester. Her research interest is in understanding the implications of contextual dynamics – socio-economic, cultural, and environmental – on the articulation of architectural design concepts particularly with regards to the development of sustainable built environments. She is passionate about understanding the needs of society and working with them to develop appropriate spatial solutions.

Milla Kallio

Milla Kallio founded FEMMA Planning Oy together with Efe Ogbeide in 2019. The idea or need for the company arose from their experiences studying and working in the field of urban planning. Milla’s background is in urban geography. She has previously worked in startup incubators and is interested in co-creation and getting people’s voices included inorder to improve our decision making. She is also currently studying future studies and excited to develop new methods to plan cities for the future.

FEMMA Planning is a planning agency specialized in participatory urban planning. At FEMMA, we study places and their identities as well as experiences of the residents. We transform place-based and residential data into guidelines that architects, urban planners or decision makers can use in their work. At the heart of our work is commitment to understanding different urban realities and experiences. The main aim of the agency is to bring other perspectives to the planning process than the purely technical; it’s not enough to know what the experts think, planners and policymakers need to also be aware of the lived experiences of city-dwellers. Listen to FEMMA’s podcast!

Brenda Vértiz

Brenda is a design practitioner and a doctoral researcher at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. In the last decade, her areas of research and design practice have evolved around exploring the possibilities and limits of transformative and participatory design practices, advancing creative explorations, socio-economic inclusion and public imagination.

During the last four years, she worked as a public servant in Mexico City’s government with women and children living in marginalized neighbourhoods, creating alternative and collective tactics for the re-appropriation of public – but contested – city spaces. Currently, her doctoral research focuses on spatial justice and feminist approaches to design as well as in the social reproduction of exclusion in civic and urban life.

Doina Petrescu

Doina Petrescu is Professor of Architecture and Design Activism at the University of Sheffield. Her research concerns issues of urban resilience in relation to urban commons, co-production, feminism and politics of space. Her publications include Architecture and Resilience (2018), The Social (re)Production of Architecture (2017), Learn to Act (2017), R-Urban Act: A Participative Strategy of Urban Resilience (2015), Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures (2009), Trans-Local Act: Cultural Politics Within and Beyond (2009), Altering Practices: Feminist Politics and Poetics of Space (2007), Urban/ACT: A Handbook for Alternative Practice (2007) and Architecture and Participation (2005).

Petrescu is also co-founder, together with Constantin Petcou, of atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa), a collective platform which conducts explorations, actions and research concerning participative architecture, resilience and cities’ co-produced transformation. Recent projects include WikiVillage Factory in Paris and R-Urban, a participative strategy for local resilience in the Paris Region. These projects have received international recognition and numerous awards across the years including the New Bauhaus Prizes 2022 (finalist), Building4Humanity Resilient Design Competition (2018), The Innovation in Politics Award for Ecology (2017) Zumtobel Award (2012), Curry Stone Prize (2011) and the European Public Space Prize (2010).