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22nd Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

New Dawn: The School of Explorative Architecture (SEA) launches in Cape Town

It is no secret that South Africa’s schools of architecture are stale and static. They are under funded, poorly staffed, grounded in “old school” thinking, plagued by politics, legislation and the top heavy self-serving administrative structures particular to state sponsored universities.

They were once some of the best in the world. No more.

The schools have been in decline for a while despite numerous attempts by the profession’s academics too steer the education of South African architects in an enlightened future proof, relevant and pro-active path free of interference and clumsy compromises.

SAIA’s acclaimed Open Architecture programme, which ran from 2012 to 2020, was a shining example of what South African architects can do in the field of architectural education. Sadly, it had one serious flaw; it required collaboration with a university based school of architecture for accreditation purposes. This collaboration was withdrawn in 2020 and the programme was shut down despite having a long waiting list of prospective students.

The Open Architecture success was followed by the formation of Stadio’s distance learning School of Architecture and Spatial Design which is expected to grow and flourish in the future as it services that particular sector of the population which does not have the means to relocate to be educated and trained.

South Africa’s architectural profession is currently experiencing a revival. Its institutions and associations have strengthened and are flourishing – particularly since it was able to successfully replace the criminal elements infused into its legislative structures by State Capture.

It was starting to feel like a new dawn…

But there was still something missing: a private and independent school of architecture able to inspire a new generation of creative and free thinking South African architects – educated and trained to service the fast evolving needs and demands of our polarised world.

It is missing no more. We have a brand new shiny school of architecture: private, independent, enlightened and not attached at the hip to a decaying bureaucratic structure overloaded with cadre appointees.

Waste no time. Go directly to SEA and find out for yourself.


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