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Masters Degrees (Architecture)

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    An exploration of social interaction through the built environment environment: towards a recreational center in KwaDukuza.
    (2022) Naidoo, Preben.; Ogunsanya, Lawrence Babatunde.
    This abstract looks at social interaction when referring to the constructed environment, particularly emphasising a recreation facility in KwaDukuza. The study aims to investigate how social dynamics and community involvement affect built environment design. Inclusion and diversity will be emphasized in the design of the recreation facility, which will provide a range of recreational opportunities and amenities to accommodate a range of age groups, interests, and abilities. The design and layout will be carefully considered to promote chance encounters, teamwork, and visitor socialization. A qualitative method approach was used to conduct an exhaustive review of relevant information, enabling a thorough comprehension of the topic. Qualitative interviews were held to learn more about a smaller group of participants' experiences and viewpoints. The study and triangulation of the results from the data provided an in-depth and complete grasp of the research issue. This method ensured a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the exploration issues by permitting an in-depth exploration of social interaction in the built environment. It will become clear from the study's findings that the recreational center is crucial for promoting social cohesiveness and neighbourhood ties. It can be a focal point for various social events, such as sporting events, cultural gatherings, and educational courses. The centre aims to give locals a venue for meaningful interaction, connection, and relationshipbuilding, ultimately enhancing the KwaDukuza community's social fabric. The center's effectiveness as a gathering place will also be aided by its advantageous location, accessible infrastructure, and eco-friendly features. Green areas, seating areas, and gathering places were incorporated to promote social interaction and community among the visitors. Overall, studying social interaction in KwaDukuza's built environment will emphasize the value of well-designed recreation areas as engines for civic participation and cohesiveness. Future urban planning projects will be informed by the study's findings, which highlight the importance of including social interaction components in the design of public places to build stronger communities.
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    Environmental microcosm: the influence of recycling on community architecture. A learning centre for waste management in the Bisasar Landfill, Durban.
    (2023) Mdluli , Siphesihle Jonas Sphephelo; Solis-Arias, Juan Ignacio
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Exploring the impact of afrocentric gender politics on the design of a court building in the city of Durban, South Africa.
    (2023) Mnguni , Senamile Bongeka.; Ogunsanya, Lawrence Babatunde.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    An architectural response to homelessness: a proposed transitional shelter in Orange Grove, Johannesburg.
    (2022) Chetty , Lawrence; Govender, Viloshin
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    An exploration of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder through architecture: towards an inclusive education facility in greater Durban.
    (2023) Calvert , Gareth Michael; Cloete , Magdalena Catharina
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Architecture as a response to informal trade in urban environments. Towards a new SMME business hub in the Point precinct, Durban, CBD.
    (2023) Biggar, Aaron Michael.; Govender, Viloshin.
    This study is meant to empower and create a sustainable life for Small, Micro, and Medium Enterprises (SMME’s), as at present there is a cultural discrepancy in the globalisation movement in the development of all cities. Corporations need to play an enabling role to create a new model of black enterprises. However, one of the biggest problems in South African cities is globalisation and apartheid city planning. This did not only structure but also relocated people to the outer parts of the cities, which made cities non-diverse, semi-functional zones and lacked major support for SMME”s. (Eatough, 2015; Rogerson, 2000 p, 673-695 ) “The reconstruction initiatives of the post-apartheid South Africa, promoting and supporting the development of small, medium and micro-enterprises sector, including the informal economy, have been of major policy significance.” (Rogerson, 2000, p, 673-695) Architecture could assist SMME’s by making a more responsive space servicing the needs of the users. The argument is for a more sustained reform of the city to examine its cultural expression as an engine for empowering multi-diverse and small businesses. The Point Development is one of the key catalysts to redeveloping the entire inner city. The point development however has resulted in gentrification and the loss of small informal businesses within the point developments. (Lumby, 1991, p.121-133) Durban is a multiplicity of cultures and architectural styles, but the city can be challenged to create more spaces for opportunity, inclusivity, and diversity. The goal is to promote and empower SMME’s in communities to use lost space, which will integrate, connect and diversify technology and culture by creating an economically empowered city with the use of Architecture and at the same time stitching the Point to the rest of the city.
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    Exploring visual impairment through the built environment.
    (2023) Mancotywa, Mbuso.; Cloete, Magdalena Catharina.
    Visual impairment can present itself as a tough challenge in a human's life, and navigating the built environment independently is often one of the biggest obstacles to be approached. Not being able to perceive the environment around one and having an absence of a strong relationship or bond to the spaces one encounters leads to visually impaired people feeling lost in space. These issues get exacerbated by the gross insufficiencies of the built environment in its response to being inclusive for the visually impaired. This is often caused by the modern architectural approach, which did not factor in significant consideration for the other senses within their designs and favoured an ocular-centric approach that gave much preference to the sense of sight in architecture. As a result of the isolation in space, visually impaired people end up being excluded from the built environment and even other activities that may take place within buildings due to the lack of inclusivity within many different architectural typologies. This dissertation will explore how the built environment can respond more to visual impairment. The framework of the research will be formulated through the literature covering the theories of Phenomenology, Place theory, Universal Design and Multi-sensory design. These theories will more profoundly explore the human senses' role in the perception of the built environment. Understanding how architecture can respond will assist in making the built environment more inclusive for the visually impaired and strengthen the relationship of the senses to space to make architectural design more meaningful.
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    Adaptive reuse in context: towards sustainable mixed - use housing in Durban.
    (2011) Dobrev, Dimitar Vladimirov.; Luckan, Yashaen.
    In this dissertation the process of adaptive reuse – the recycling or rehabilitation of buildings – is analysed in terms of the tenets of sustainability and place theories as construed in the field of architecture, as well as within the context of architectural and urban theory and history. The dissertation demonstrates how different approaches to adaptive reuse result in a sustainable architecture that is responsive to its context. Adaptive reuse is the historically normal practice of recycling buildings. Initially, the research focused on the relationship between old and new buildings; how is the new synthesised with the old, and what are the values of this relationship? It soon became evident that by today’s definition of sustainability in architecture, the practice of recycling buildings, and indeed the partial modification of buildings, came very close to fulfilling the ‘ideologies’ of sustainability. This research paper reconciles the history and practice of adaptive reuse, with the currently popular theories of sustainability and Place Theory. The pursuit of sustainability (Chapter One), in terms of architecture and building, results in part from the forces of rapid urbanisation, impending and/or perceived food, water and resource shortages, and the linear metabolism of the modernist built environment. A detailed review of related concepts and theories in Chapter Two, aim at giving the reader a better understanding of the context of adaptive reuse in this paper. The author has used the concepts and theories as tools for research (in Part I - Dissertation) and analysis (in Part II - Design). Chapter Three looks at three approaches to adaptive reuse – conservation, preservation and demolition – and relates them to the tenets of sustainability, as well as the concepts and theories laid out in Chapter One and Two. Specifically, each approach to adaptive reuse is contextualised in terms of the economic, environmental and social agendas of sustainability, which include both quantitative and qualitative aspects such as eco-efficiency and Place theory respectively. Chapter Four is a case study of the Bartel Arts Trust (BAT) Centre, Durban, South Africa. The study provides the historic, cultural and climatic settings, or contexts, of the conservation project, and relates these contexts to the architect’s approach to adaptive reuse. A carefully designed questionnaire has been used to identify those qualitative aspects which are otherwise unattainable through interview, review or perceptual observation. The case study also integrates the concepts and theories which underpin the topic, thereby contextualising the study in terms of this paper.
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    The influence of youth rural-urban migration on architecture and urbanism: towards an employment indigenous skill centre in Durban.
    (2022) Sithole, Thulisile Nomthandazo.; Cloete, Magdalena Catharina.
    Rural-urban migration has a huge impact on urbanization, population distribution and settlement. Young adults migrate in search of better opportunities in education and employment (Muhwava W. et al, 2010). People perceive cities to have better living and working conditions. These migrants generally do not possess the skills or the education to enable them to find and secure employment in the formal sector, and they must settle for work in the informal sector which is mainly informal trading (Timalsima, 2007:1). This largely impacts on the urban fabric and the architecture provided in the cities to service the needs for the population. Rural urban migration also contributes to a lot of social issues that affect the city’s population. Rural-urban migration is attributed to the idea that urban areas have better economic conditions and opportunities. This is the pulling factor that attracts rural people into the cities. Political and social factors and conditions also play a big role in drawing people into cities. This causes a big shift in architecture and the provision of services in big cities, causing housing backlogs etc. This study aims to explore the influence of rural-urban migration on architecture and urbanism as means for creating a skill’s centre for the youth of Durban. The study investigates the role of culture and identity in restoring and preserving local identity through the built environment, as well as providing opportunities for sustainable economic development for rural-urban migrants. The need to develop local cultural identities in order to build environments and ensure that these are expressed in a progressive and dynamic manner in order to express culture as a dynamic evolving organ rather than a static dogma, ensuring versatility and significance to future generations. It will also highlight the importance of heritage and cultural preservation through built form. Culture is reflected through history and forms part of buildings, artefacts that form part of the traditional built environment which is how rural urban migrants read urban spaces (Mensah O, 2012:18). Cultural identity plays an important role in the preservation of indigenous knowledge skills, knowledge systems and their conservation (Hoppers, 2002). The research investigates how culture, tradition, and built environments can be integrated to create a meaningful environment that is an epitome of and responds to people's needs. The study will be conducted in Durban one of South Africa’s major port city that is home to the largest industrial hub after Gauteng. Durban is in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The study will focus on the area of Stamford Hill (co-ordinates -29.0846906, +31.031977). It is in an urban setting. The area is affected with high concentrations of informal settlements and lacks integration in the overall Durban economy. The area is affected by issues of low levels of literacy and skills development and a lot of unsuitable development practices. Durban is deeply divided in terms of social inequality with almost 70 % of its population residing on the periphery of the CBD in peri urban areas. In Durban, peri-urban areas can be identified along the threshold between the CBD and the immediate surrounding suburbs and rural areas outside the urban development line. Indigenous knowledge and the integration of knowledge systems, the promotion and conservation of these systems is important (Hoppers,2002:1). To empower and develop people, these systems help in finding human a human-cantered vision of development and preservation of basic human rights and the alleviation of poverty (Hoppers,2002:3). Sustainable human development that is built on these systems that exist in communities helps promote societies and development that benefits generations (Hoppers, 2002:3). The loss of these cultural reference points sometimes leads to a breakdown in societies (Hoppers, 2002:3). These systems can be used to benefit the youth. The precedent studies looked at are the BAT Centre in Durban and the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu (Eastern Cape). These precedents will explore the concepts of identity and the role that architecture plays in instilling national pride and identity while reinforcing the importance of skills development. The materials and the celebration of identity in creating place. The relationship between architecture and heritage and the role it plays in economical growth.
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    Influence of cinematic strategies on architectural design. towards a film institute for Durban.
    (2018) Bhayat, Sumaiya Yusuf.; Ogunsanya, Lawrence Babatunde.
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    Exploring the role of the built environment in redefining Durban’s water culture: a proposed recreation hub and Maritime museum for Durban harbour.
    (2017) Achary, Dhiantha.; Cloete, Magdalena Catharina.
    Water controls life on earth as a natural asset. This is just as applicable within the urban setting. An element which is equally enabling as it is incapacitating, water is constantly shaping the way we experience life on earth. The successful operating of the urban environment depends fundamentally on the efficient movement of water into and out of the city. While in urban settings, water is often concealed and controlled to create the illusion of a hydrophobic space, the hidden waterways which run below the surface of cities are proof that water is still a part of our everyday lives. The relationship between architecture and water is constantly evolving, and the design of modern cities does not always cater to the integrity of water and its natural sources. The dichotomous relationship between architecture and nature further reinforces this disassociation of people water and architecture. This document aims to explore how architecture can adapt and transform to enable a better water culture within cities, so as to protect natural sources and ensure a more resilient city.
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    Sport as a catalyst for rural youth development: a proposed sports centre for Ndwedwe.
    (2016) Govender, Sumesh.; Ogunsanya, Lawrence Babatunde.
    This dissertation investigates how Sports and Architecture can be used to alleviate the challenges of youth in rural areas and create a catalyst for their personal and social development. The focus of this research study is Ndwedwe, a rural town in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. Empowerment, Place Theory, Placemaking and Ecological Systems Theory were investigated to develop a theoretical framework to inform the design. To fulfill the objectives of this research study literature on Sports; Youth development; and the potential Social, Economic and Physical impact of Sports Facilities on rural development were investigated to develop criteria to analyze precedents, case studies and data from key informants. The outcomes of this research were that Sport and Architecture can be used to catalyse the development of rural youth by applying a strategy of Positive Youth Development. Sport provides the structured activity to engage and inspire the youth and is integrated with tailored development programs to address their individual needs. Rural areas have a lack of facilities that can act as social hubs for the community. A Sports Centre that is designed to be accessible, inclusionary and includes a variety of community services and activities can act as a social hub for the community improving social cohesion. Rural areas are characterised by poor local economies. The Sports Centre can have a positive Economic impact attracting spending from outside the community by including revenue earning services such as Tourism and providing economic opportunities for the local economy by including market and trading spaces. Rural areas are generally sparsely populated. Sport spaces can attract people in sufficient numbers to generate the appropriate density required for other developments. Physical impacts can be achieved by an appropriate urban design response creating linkages with other key locations in the context as well as coordinating the development of associated land uses in entertainment, dining and the service sector. The conclusions and recommendations of this research provides guidelines for the appropriate architectural and urban design response to formulate a design solution for rural areas in Kwa-zulu Natal, South Africa.
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    Intelligent transport systems as generators of built form: towards the design of a transport interchange in Harare, Zimbabwe.
    (2015) Nyambuya, Tinashe Martin.; Mthethwa, Majahamahle Nene.
    Rapid urbanisation in the last century resulted in a more urban population although some countries and continents still have higher rural population. It is estimated that by the year 2050 more than 75% of the world‟s population will be living in urban areas (WB, 2013; OECD, 2015). Most of this increase in global urbanisation is forecast to take place in the emerging, developing and less developed, or third world Africa, Asia and South America (Pojani & Stead, 2015). Transport plays a critically important role within urban areas in ensuring that urban dwellers gain access to resources and socioeconomic opportunities. The transport systems in most urbanized and urbanizing areas of developing nations are largely unsustainable and cause numerous problems that directly affect the quality of social, economic and environmental urban systems. With limited access to financial capital and strong institutional structures these nations struggle to develop their urban infrastructures to keep up with the increasing human populations and demands of safe, reliable and sustainable transportation services. The information and communications technology (ICT) sector has recorded unprecedented growth in Africa over the last decade. In Zimbabwe, for example, telecommunications technology, in the form of an electronic mobile payment system, has enabled the sustainable growth of the informal economy by creating a cashless society. The system has enabled the poorest of citizens access to financial and credit facilities and helped them start up and run profitable small businesses ( It provided a sustainable solution for managing the financial crisis in the country. With more than 75% of the population now owning mobile telephones and wireless devices technologies like the payment systems can be used to improve other sectors of the economy currently under stress and strain. This research study intends to investigate the use of advanced transport systems and technologies in improving transport in the major urban centers of Zimbabwe. The study will investigate intelligent transport systems as tools of improving urban transport and how their operational and functional requirements can be used by design professional to create sustainable and meaningful urban built form.
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    Sensory perception as an informant in built form design process: a proposed primary school for the Durban north area.
    (2015) Oravecz, Peter.; Mthethwa, Majahamahle Nene.; Magalena, Cloete.
    The decline in academic performance throughout educational systems in South Africa may be stemming from elementary/primary school learner’s perception of the built environment resulting negative psychological effects which is evident in their results. This problem has been met with existing research into various aspects of child psychology primarily focussing on sensory perception and phenomenology. This allows one to gain an understanding into how a child perceives and responds to his or her environment. The case study results pertaining to sensory perception are supported by other similar research contained in the literature review (chapter 3). It therefore verifies the need that interventions into existing educational institutions can improve the academic outcomes of schools. Any future elementary/primary educational institution planning should strongly adhere to the design principles dictated by the results of this study.
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    An exploration of the feminine quality in the working environment: towards creating an equal gender workplace typology.
    (2015) Maharajh, Sasha.; Horner, Bridget Marian.
    This research involves the understanding of the feminine quality in working environments. The competitive nature of these highly productive office spaces creates environments where the user is not considered in the design of these spaces. The feminine quality is more focused on the emotional and social aspects of the environment and people involved. If applied correctly, it has the ability to bring a user focused design to the office space environment. The concept of the invisible flaneur and the chora allow a new thought process towards the female quality. Highlighting positive aspects of the feminine quality, such as nurturing spaces, and shows how these principals benefit spatial design. The findings of this research confirm that spatial qualities show that the users of the space are not considered and this creates an unethical way of designing spaces. In the applying the principles derived from the literature, we can create spaces that are inclusive and functional to the needs of both genders The typology that is proposed is one not designed specifically for women or men, but tries to encompass the positive humane approach of the feminine and apply it into environments that are lacking these qualities. This thesis will hopefully contribute in creating more gender equal environments.
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    Historical developments and transformation of religious architecture: a case study of Durban’s Hindu temples.
    (2015) Singh, Naresh.; Solis-Arias, Juan Ignacio
    This research is inspired by the lack of debate around what is desirable Hindu Religious Architecture, amongst the adherents to this faith in Durban. This will spur discussion to create appropriate contemporary spiritual and religious iconolatry, a symbol of divine veneration as well as a place of congregation for the Hindu in Durban. According to Meer, the early Hindu temples were built in Durban over a thirty-five year period between 1875 and 1910, Meer (1969), which is now more than a century ago. The transformation of Hindu temples in Durban can be conceptualised as a by-product of the needs and lifestyles of the sub-culture Hinduism of the region. They are the product of a broad spectrum of role players whose academic, physical and even spiritual input is worth analysing and understanding. The relevance of this study will be established by analysing the history of the Hindu culture in its land of origin; the Indian Sub-continent, by analysing its various interpretations through built form and lastly, by analysing its evolution, or what makes concrete the idea of Hindu Religious Architecture in Durban, South Africa. The core of the research is the analysis of case studies, in which issues of what was historically appropriate places of Hindu worship, regional appropriateness and whether or not the Hindu Religious Architecture of Durban conveys a complex inter-webbing of meaning. It is this that either causes the decline or enhancement of the formal values and the public view, and which the Hindu Temple Architecture embodies and in turn, radiates and affects. The influence of western culture and colonialism has had an effect on the practices of Hindu culture in Durban, particularly the apartheid planning policy, which impacted on the spaces where cultural and religious practices were performed. The theory review analyses the integration of the pragmatic functional requirements of the building program with the metaphysical and symbolic qualities of space and art that are characteristic of Indian traditional architecture. Such architecture will be analysed with reference to its relevance in the Durban context.
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    (Eco)design for a revitalized built environment: towards a new model for an active mixed-use architecture for the rejuvenation of the city of Durban.
    (2017) Gareth, Knox.; Solis-Arias, Juan Ignacio.
    The purpose of this research document was to determine a relevant and responsible architecture that could act as a model of an active mixed-use building typology that would contribute towards the rejuvenation of the Durban inner city, utilising biodiversity as an active component of building design to improve the built environment as well as the livelihood of the urban user. The nature of this architecture was generated through the investigation of current literature, case and precedent studies and personally conducted interviews with informed professionals that would provide knowledge and insight to ultimately confirm the hypothesis; that the integration of nature with the built environment can utilise ecological system services to contribute towards urban sustainability and resiliency targets, whilst simultaneously connecting the urban user with biodiversity and effectively providing a positive influence on their physical, mental and psychological well-being. Ultimately, the data gathered in this document would inform an appropriate architecture that will meet the requirements of the eThekwini 2040 Inner City Local Area Plan and act as a model for future projects within the Durban built environment.
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    Transformative imaginaries: strategies for inclusive architectural design in Durban towards a makers lab in Warwick.
    (2017) Mkhize, Phumelele.; Solis-Arias, Juan Ignacio.
    The ‘regeneration’ of materially degraded areas in African cities, such as the Point Development in Durban, has become microcosms of global development practices, where local identities of social capital and built form are overlooked in the expression of place-making, in favour of urban imaginaries that aspire to those of Eastern mega cities. In doing so, a vast majority of the inhabitants of the city, the urban poor, are rendered invisible in these exclusively represented ‘regenerative’ developments. South African cities present an already spatially fragmented urban context, due to the burdensome legacy of the apartheid regime. Approaches to the urban regeneration that defer to globalised fantasies and aspirations, as opposed to being locally grounded, are not only politically problematic, but can substantively exacerbate social, economic and political striations, as well as impede the future development of these cities. There is therefore an urgent need to reconceptualise the approach that we as Africans take in conceptualising our own rapidly urbanising and future-imagined cities. The rendered images we devise project values of urban lifestyles we imagine to be ideal. This study holds that there needs to be a critical realisation and evaluation of the readily available local resources found in our cities, of both material and social capital, which present a grounded local platform on which our cities might be built. The problem becomes the means through which the local values of a particular city, which reflect current and diverse urban practices of its people, as well as their collective aspirations, can be expressed in local identity and become materialised in architectural form. Such language of inclusion, once engaged, becomes the seed from which deteriorating urban sites can be spatially transformed to include the poor in development, instead of ‘regenerating’ the urban aesthetic. This thesis argues that in the case of South African cities engaging urban phenomena as a need for transformation in our theoretical conceptualisation of the future city. It contends the need for architectural design to affirm local identity in the face of globalisation. Its research aim to make an inquiry on the tools necessary to begin to build inclusive or transformed urban environments, examining the discourse presented by urban scholars of the Global South, including Jennifer Robinson, Edgar Pieterse, Abdou Malique Simone, and Achille Mbembe.
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    Exploring private urban agriculture and its integration into high density housing.
    (2017) Luke, Bentley Standen.; Horner, Bridget Marian.
    The research looks at how the architecture of residential design can encourage the practice of urban agriculture, from the approach of the environmental, social, physical and dietary benefits to the residents and related urban environment. The research takes the standpoint that a change in the design of urban residential architecture to enable and encourage urban agriculture is important in order to improve food sovereignty and the relationships that urban residents have to food and nature, as this is shown to improve people’s health. The Theory of Social Practice was used to look at the success of private urban agricultural practices and how they rely on the interaction of practitioners or external support and how this can be used to improve residential design for the practice of urban agriculture. The research looks at using Social Practice Theory and Ecological Design (with supporting concepts) to inform the design of high density residential units. Local case studies are explored and analysed to identify how existing urban agricultural practices have been integrated into the city framework. Along with local and international precedents being analysed to determine appropriate responses and opportunities and where opportunities have been missed. The research has been done to inform a set of principles to be used in the design of high density housing which integrates natural systems and benefits of urban agriculture, whereas modern high density housing generally separates people from nature. The research suggests that in order for architects to be able to design for the future cites they need to design for the inclusion of agriculture. The findings suggest that the industrial revolution not only had negative impacts on the way buildings are designed for humans, but it is now negatively influencing how the buildings of the future are incorporating nature in an industrialised manner. Further removing the physical, social and mental benefits urban agriculture provides to residents.