Dr Carin Combrinck was the director of an architectural practice in Johannesburg for 15 years before joining the Department of Architecture at the University of Pretoria in 2010. She currently coordinates and lectures in the Honours programme while teaching third-year theory. She has been the study leader for selected M(Prof) students over the course of her academic career. Combrinck has engaged with communities living in the informal settlements of Slovo Park (Soweto, Johannesburg), Alaska (Mamelodi, Pretoria) as well as Plastic View (Moreleta Park, Pretoria).
Proposals developed by students under her supervision have been presented to various Community Based and Non-Profit Organisations in pursuit of socio-spatial redress. Combrinck is the research field co-ordinator for Human Settlements and Urbanism. She completed her PhD in 2015 on the role of the architectural profession in the South African discourse on informal settlement upgrade. The social responsibility of architects in the emerging conditions of African urbanism underpins much of her research interest. Most particularly, methods of participation that contribute towards collaborative design practices are investigated as part of her studio module. Theoretical positions in support of an authentic dialogue between spatial design and the society it serves to provide the basis of further research endeavours.