Michiel Smits is an architect, university lecturer and a fourth year PhD researcher. Starting from his technical training he has been involved as a pro-bono engineer and designer in rural Sub-Sahara Africa since 2004. After developing many public buildings and housing in rural Kenya he concluded that the existing approach of himself and local NGOs did not articulate a suitable answer for the communities they were intended to. Which was the main departure point and motivation to pursue a PhD in Architecture.
His aim is to formulate a support that allows engineers to assess local capacities and use them to make informed design and building decisions. Ultimately helping engineers to articulate minor interventions that support local inhabitants and communities to build by themselves. Hopefully encouraging self-reliant and resilient communities.
Combining a position as a lecturer at Avans University of applied Science and Delft University of Technology he uses MSc and BSc students to formulate and test his support in rural Kenya. From August 2017 till January 2018, four students and four international architects will test the support in the field. The outcomes of the field experiments plus the assessment of the support will form the main body of his manuscript titled: “Inhabitant Inclusive Housing Design Support.