School of Architecture and Planning

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Theory and Practice

The fields of architecture and planning are constantly evolving and are driven by experimentation. Theory and Practice is aimed at bringing practitioners in architecture and planning, and scholars, together in order to teach and learn about current practices. At the School of Architecture and Planning (SoAP) we pride ourselves on curricula that equip students to perform in the new economy, with relevant and transactable skills. Essential to this commitment to our students is the dialogue with the professions, requiring discussion on changing trends and collaborative partnerships between academia and practice so that the university becomes a primary facilitator between the city and the sectors, in promoting innovation and participation of students in the knowledge economy.  

The history of our School, founded in 1922 as the Department of Architecture, is not much younger than the city of Johannesburg, which grew up around the mining industries after the discovery of gold in 1886.  For this reason architecture and planning at SoAP have been tasked from an early stage with developing the technology and skills applicable to the growing city. The task today in the Gauteng City-Region in which SoAP is situated, is to retain this currency and relevance through our contributions to teaching, research and practice which play a key role in developing design professionals that could be involved in the transformation of spatial design in South Africa, and the innovation of city infrastructure in Africa and the World at large.   

Our Theory and Practice Programmes include:  

  • Exhibitions: We host exhibitions from colleagues around the world in the John Moffat Foyer and Fassler Gallery
  • Short Courses and Studios: We are engaging with Practitioners in this area. This involves not just participation and reviews but bringing in practitioners to disseminate the latest information on aspects of practice.  
  • Competitions and Ideas: SoAP runs essay and design competitions to encourage student and staff contributions and reflections on the evolving nature of the disciplines of Architecture and Planning, and to promote excellence in essential skills of visual and written communication.