Jennifer Bonner (MArch ’09), assistant professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and her practice MALL are the focus of Architect magazine’s latest installment of Next Progressives, a monthly feature spotlighting an exciting architectural firm or practitioner. The feature appears as a three-page print spread in the magazine’s September issue as well as online.
Bonner founded MALL in 2009 after graduating from the GSD, where she was awarded the James Templeton Kelley Prize for her project Assemblage of Twins. MALL describes itself as “committed to projects that reappropriate history, hack typologies, reference cultural events, and invent representation.”
With Architect, Bonner discusses a sampling of MALL’s recent design and research projects, including Domestic Hats (above), which questions the role of ordinary roof typologies in contemporary architecture. She also talks about Best Sandwiches, another design and research project exhibited this year at Boston’s Pinkcomma gallery that explores novel spatial stacking.
And Bonner’s design hero? John C. Portman Jr., she tells Architect, “because Southern architects need Southern idols, and because he showed everyone how to invent a typology—‘super atrium’—while mastering the architect–developer business model.”
Born in Alabama, Bonner is a recipient of an AR Award for Emerging Architecture (Architectural Review), Emerging Voices Award (American Institute of Architects/Young Architects Forum), and two Faculty Design Awards (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture), among other honors and recognitions. She was the first recipient of an annual teaching fellowship at Woodbury University in Los Angeles and held the position of TVSDesign Distinguished Studio Critic at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she founded book series A Guide to the Dirty South.
Before her graduate studies, Bonner worked in the office of Foster + Partners in London and Istanbul on the Palace of Peace in Astana, Kazakhstan. Later as Project Architect at David Chipperfield Architects she worked on design proposals for Melnikov’s Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage in Moscow and the Turner Contemporary in Margate, UK.
Here at the GSD, Bonner is faculty editor of the forthcoming edition of Platform, titled Still Life.