N. John Habraken (john@habraken.org)


N. John Habraken, a Dutch citizen, was born in Bandung, Indonesia in 1928. Went to primary school in Surabya and Jakarta. Secondary school interrupted for three years by war events.

Received his architectural training at Delft Technical University, the Netherlands. 1948-1955

Served in the Royal Dutch Airforce as a deskbound noncom. officer. 1955-57

Author of 'Supports, an Alternative to Mass Housing' which was first published in 1962, ( English edition 1972, re-issued in 1999) in which he proposed the separation of 'support' or base building from 'infill' or interior fit-out in residential construction and design.

Director of SAR ( Foundation for Architects Research) in the Netherlands, 1965 to 1975, research into and development of methods for the design and construction of adaptable housing.

Appointed professor at Eindhoven Technical University, 1967, to set up its new Department of Architecture and serve as its first chairperson.

Appointed Head of the Department of Architecture at MIT, Cambridge, MA. 1975-1981

Taught at MIT till his retirement in 1989. Remains occupied with Methods and theory of architectural and urban design. Lectured on these topics worldwide and is the author of a number of books, research reports, and many articles.

Served in a partnership for the invention and development of an infill system for residential construction From 1987 till 1997.

Recipient of the 1988 Creative Achievement Award of the Association of Collegiate Schools in the US; the David RoŽll prize 1979 of the Dutch Prince Bernhard Fund, The King Fahd award for desing and research in Islamic Architecture, 1985-86, and the Oevre Award for 1996 of the National Foundation for Art, design, and Architecture.(BKVB oevre prijs) in the Netherlands. Honorary member of the Architectural Institute of Japan. Knight of the Royal Order of the Dutch Lion 2003. Recipient of the 2003 “Kubus for advancing the standing of Architecture”, by the BNA, Dutch Association of Architects.

His book, titled: "The Structure of the Ordinary", published in 1998 by MIT Press, is an investigation of laws governing built environment as revealed by patterns of transformation.

Doctor Honoris Causa from the Technical University Eindhoven 2005

His most recent book: “Palladio’s Children” is an attempt to explain why architects do not know how to deal with everyday environment.

Presently lives in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.


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