Open Architecture Programme

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South Africa is currently experiencing a shortage of Professional Architects (Pr.Arch.) needed to deal with the building needs of the country. This initiative seeks to facilitate the training of architectural graduates (3 year Architecture Bachelor’s degrees, B.Tech, or Technologists and Draughtspersons with architectural experience) within the system who are seeking to become Professional Architects.

Initially the program will only address post-graduate architecture students, but will expand later into under-graduate studies. The study course is a part-time work integrated program that is based on a three way agreement between the accredited learning site, the professional Architectural mentor in practice and the student.

Open Architecture is being rolled out by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) as the first of its transformation projects aligned to Skills Development to address the educational and structural bottlenecks being experienced on the currently available model of full time study only.

The SACAP accredited Schools of Architecture have limited enrolment capacities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and at some of these institutions there are fewer positions available into the post-graduate programmes than are being graduated at under-graduate level.

Many Professional Senior Architectural Technologists who are eligible to progress to a Masters level in education are unable to return to full-time study due to life commitments.

Current statistics reveal that the bulk of previously disadvantaged persons in the field of Architecture are registered at Draughtsperson, Technologist or Senior Technologist levels. In many cases it is affordability that precludes advancement of qualifications and it is difficult for these persons to give up employment to continue their studies.

Open Architecture aims to offer a universally recognised alternative to main-stream graduate and post-graduate architecture education, in the form of a synthesis of online and office-based architecture education to enable them to gain registration with SACAP at the level of Professional Senior Architectural Technologist and Professional Architect. 

Schools/Community Outreach Project

This project aims to create a space for the introduction of the architecture profession to school learners. Essentially, the aim is to document the event into a portable format. This way, the event may be employed at any school, but especially incorporated into existing career guidance initiatives that would normally have no architectural representation to introduce the profession to learners. Thus, in this light, continuing the ideals of the event, in introducing more disadvantaged learners to the discipline of Architecture.

As a community architecture awareness campaign this pilot project hopes to further permeate in implementation, post the main UIA2014 Congress.

Be an Architect for a Day

This educational workshop for school learners will take place during the congress. In this workshop learners will get to experience the work of an architect for a day by building and painting a 1:20 basic cardboard model.

Student Debate on Architectural Education

The student debate is envisaged as a platform for students from around the world to voice their opinions on the dynamics of their architectural education. The call aims to open communication channels between students from developing and developed countries in order to unpack the differences in approach to the study, as defined by their specific and contrasting socio-economic contexts. The relevance of the current structure and content of both architecture and architectural education is being questioned more frequently in these times of economic and social upheaval in various places around the world. In response, the UIA 2014 student debate looks to documenting the opinions of those currently in the system, on a way forward that may ensure the longevity of the practice. The three topics of debate investigate architecture in an academic environment; architecture in practice and as a catalyst for socio-economic development. As such the event offers opportunity for architectural students to contribute to the debate on the future of architectural education in the hopes of inspiring an improved course forward.

This new direction will be documented to form a part of the Legacy of the UIA 2014 Durban. The debaters research will be compiled to form a charter, describing their findings and the conversations they inspired during the debate and for the duration of the event. This document will be presented to the City of Seoul at the end of the conference and the final copy will then be made available electronically to all schools of architecture to access and use as a framework for proposed and desired changes to future facility, logistics and curriculum.