Andre Viljoen

Prof

20032023
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Personal profile

Research interests

Andre Viljoen is a leading figure researching the architectural and urban design consequences of sustainable urban food systems.

An architect, researcher and teacher in sustainability and urban design, Andre's work engages locally and internationally with artists, designers, architects, policy and communities.

Much of his research is undertaken collaboratively with colleague Katrin Bohn, and is cross disciplinary, bridging the arts, design and planning. He has also led pedagogic research into teaching and learning in design.

He and Bohn have contributed to, and set up, international conferences, exhibitions and workshops presenting architectural design research. Following the 2005 publication of their book "Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: designing urban agriculture for sustainable cities", the number of invitations by academic, and civic organisations has expanded to include research and dissemination activities in public and professional audiences in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Japan the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Additionally, invited articles about the concept have been published widely, including in China, Korea and Russia.

Between 2013 and 2016 Andre was elected Chair of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Special Interest Group: Sustainable Food Planning, and he continues as a member of the group’s advisory board.

As part of Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Olympics, he was invited as one of four international experts to advise a team from Tokyo University and the Mayor’s office for the City of Nerima in Tokyo, on plans for the 2019 World Urban Agriculture Summit.

Viljoen and Bohn’s research has been recognised externally by the architectural profession, agencies and activists.

In 2015, the book Second Nature Urban Agriculture, edited by Andre Viljoen and Katrin Bohn won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) international 2015 President's Award for outstanding university located research. This follows a 2007 shortlisting for the same award for their earlier book, Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs).

The United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies, 2010 Policy Report, Cities, Biodiversity and Governance: Perspectives and Challenges of the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the City Level, referrers to the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes concept as “a powerful urban design instrument for achieving local sustainability while reducing cities’ ecological footprints” (Pp 31-32).

Referring to the book “Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes” 2005, Rob Hopkins founder of the Transition Towns movement wrote, “Andre Viljoen has put together a book of the most profound importance at this point in history. How will we feed our cities beyond the age of cheap oil?” (26 Apr 2006 on “Transition Culture”).

And from the 21st October 2014, also by Rob Hopkins, on “Transition network”.

“Second Nature Urban Agriculture is pretty extraordinary.  If we are to create built environments which are ‘locked in’ to the radically low carbon future we need to be creating, we really can’t afford to build any new developments that don’t include urban agriculture.  It needs to be everywhere, and clearly at the moment that isn’t happening fast enough.  Viljoen and Bohn tackle this from a range of angles, and there is something here to inspire those anywhere along a spectrum from, at one end, wondering how to grow food where they live in a city, to, at the other, planners and designers wanting to undertake ambitious scale projects.  Hard to recommend it highly enough.”

Supervisory Interests

Andre Viljoen welcomes expression of interest for supervisory support from individuals interested in architecture and urban design, with a particular focus on sustainable design, urban agriculture and alternative architectural practices including engagement processes.  

He has acted as a Ph.D. supervisor at the University of Brighton and Cambridge and as an examiner at the Universities of Sheffield, Oxford Brookes and Brighton.

Doctoral Post-Graduate Research supervision:

Ongoing since 2017 - Ph.D. Co-Supervisor: University of Brighton Candidate funded under the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership consortium (Global Economies and Business Innovation).  Joseph Palmer, Topic the use of Innovative Technologies in participatory planning.

Ongoing since 2015 - Ph.D. Lead Supervisor: University of Brighton Candidate (part-time), Magda Rich, Topic Therapeutic Horticulture in the city.

Ongoing since 2013) - Ph.D. Lead Supervisor (appointed 2017): University of Brighton Candidate (part-time), Gabriel Wulff, Topic Berlin Urban Agriculture, inputs and output.

Completed:                   

2009-14, Ph.D. Lead Supervisor: University of Brighton Candidate Mikey Tomkins, Topic Community Food Gardens.

2008- 12, Ph.D. Supporting Supervisor: University of Cambridge Candidate Gillian Denny, Topic Embodied greenhouse gas emissions and urban agriculture.

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, London Metropolitan University

Master, Technological University of Dublin

Bachelor, Trinity College Dublin

Master, University of East London

External positions

External Examiner for the Diploma in Architecture, Mackintosh School of Architecture., Glasgow School of Art

20172021

External Examiner for the architecture programme at CASS Architecture., London Metropolitan University

20132017

External Examiner for the architecture programme., London South Bank University

20132017

External Examiner for the architecture programme, University of East London

20082012

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urban agriculture Earth & Environmental Sciences
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food Earth & Environmental Sciences
city Earth & Environmental Sciences
urban landscape Earth & Environmental Sciences
planning Agriculture & Biology
gardens Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2018 2023

Research Output 2003 2019

Cultivating Refuge: The role of urban agriculture amongst refugees and forced migrants in the Kurdistan region of Iraq

Tomkins, M., Yousef, S., Adam-Bradford, A., Perkins, C., Grosrenaud, E., Mctough, M. & Viljoen, A. 2019 (Accepted/In press) 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

urban agriculture
Kurdistan
Iraq
refugee
refuge

Food and urban design: Urban agriculture as Second Nature?

Bohn, K. & Viljoen, A. 14 Dec 2017 The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture. Naccarato, P. & LeBesco, K. (eds.). London, p. 169-183 15 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

urban agriculture
urban design
food
food production
typology

Second Nature Urban Agriculture: Designing the Productive City

Viljoen, A. & Bohn, K. 30 Jun 2016

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Open Access
weblog
agriculture
sustainability
interview

The Productive City: Urban agriculture on the map

Bohn, K. & Viljoen, A. 1 Sep 2016 140, p. 21-24 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
urban agriculture
food
urban design
city

Urban agriculture and desire: Commentary on chapter 6 "Resilient City = Carrot City: Urban agriculture theories and designs"

Viljoen, A. & Bohn, K. 1 Jul 2016 Integrated urban agriculture: Precedents, practices, prospects. France, R. (ed.). 1 ed. Faringdon, p. 278-284 7 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

urban agriculture
carrots
Agriculture
foodways
niche markets

Activities 2012 2012

  • 1 External funding peer-review

Food Urbanism Initiative

Bohn, K. (Member of expert group), Viljoen, A. (Member of expert group)
20122014

Activity: External funding peer-review