About The Speaker
Thomas Chapman was born in Johannesburg in 1984. Chapman has Masters degrees in architecture (2008) and urban design (2013) from the University of the Witwatersrand, both which explored the reintroduction of ‘publicness’ into the post-apartheid city. Chapman spent time working as a researcher in the fields of oral history and civic engagement and joined Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens as a professional architect in 2009. Chapman founded Local Studio in Brixton, Johannesburg in 2012. Today, the firm employs 15 full- time staff and has a diverse portfolio of built work comprising public buildings, urban design schemes and private houses. The firm works mainly in the affordable housing, social infrastructure and public space sectors and is responsible for several projects that have played a part in the regeneration of downtown Johannesburg. Chapman has taught urban design at the University of the Witwatersrand and currently runs a housing unit at the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture. Chapman was selected as one of the Mail and Guardian Young South Africans in 2016 and represented Local Studio as one of only 15 architectural practices selected by Juan Herreros at the Columbia GSAPP’s ‘Constructing Practice’ symposium in New York in 2017. In 2018 Chapman was selected by Architectural Record as a winner of the Architectural Vanguard award, which recognizes the best emerging architects from around the world.