Date: August 13, 2018

The British Council invited Namibia, through the Directorate of Arts (Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture), to participate in the International Architecture and Design Showcase (IADS) in London, as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

The IADS aims to facilitate embassies and cultural institutes internationally to “lead a global debate on architecture, design and issues that are vital to cities and communities around the world”. The Department has taken the lead to develop an exhibition, which, if funds allow, will also be showcased in Namibia, later this year. A short abstract about the exhibition follows:

The exhibition seeks to trace the complexity of the production of space throughout the country’s turbulent history, and to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary, post-colonial Namibian city. Different definitions of space coexist both socially and spatially. 22 years after independence, social inequality is growing amid the country getting entangled in global economic dynamics; urbanisation, although radically on the increase, still develops along embedded patterns of Apartheid planning while the country continues to portray itself as the land of wide-open spaces to the outside world; where mostly German colonial buildings are defined as National Heritage, new forms of monumentality are imported from foreign countries once again, while other places are being transformed to embody the decolonisation of spaces and minds.

NAMIBIA – Definitions of Space

30 June - 12 July 2012
10.00-18.00 Daily

P3 Gallery, University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS
London, United Kingdom

*Originally published on 1 April 2012

Date: August 13, 2018

The revised curriculum fully integrates three components: Materials, Technology and Design. The major studio projects have been structured to maximise this investigation. In addition the lectures on Landscape, Presentation Techniques and Building Services are arranged to complement each major project.

The current design project has been possible through the generosity of Peter and Konstanze Strack. Several visits were made by the students to their house in Windhoek that Peter designed and constructed in 1972. The detailed history of design, construction and subsequent modifications, gave the students an opportunity to appreciate how a successful example of domestic architecture evolves over time.

All aspects of House Strack have been examined and documented, also original drawings assisted each student to draw survey drawings of the house as it is today. Following this, they created personal briefs which led to either: Remodelling, Extension, Change of Use, or a  combination of all. Each student has selected a material to show during the design process how it could be used in a contemporary way in counterpoint with the original house, characterised by off-shutter concrete and timber panelling and other materials in their natural state.

The students have comprehended that: TheBrief  will be used to evaluate the success of the final design; Feasibility  examines the practicality of total requirements; Concepts  allow multiple approaches to be evaluated, before schedules of accommodation and sketch designs can commence.

*Originally published on 1 March 2012


Date: August 13, 2018

The 2012 academic year has started with a vengeance and the family is growing. The Department is happy to welcome 22 first-year students, 17 second-year students and 10 third-year students.

We are also happy to welcome two new full-time colleagues, Maria Marealle and Sophia van Greunen, ensuring that the previous gender imbalance at the Department is being addressed. Prof. Scheuermann, the godfather of the Department, is with us again for 6 weeks, joining the first year studio team and giving valuable input in many other courses. This will be his last official guest professorship at the Polytechnic and the Department thanks him for his enormous contribution to its further development and international academic links that are being established. While the third-year students are out in various architectural offices doing their practical semester, the second-years have already finished a multi-media project with outstanding artistic results and first-year students are building model structures.

In many ways the Department is well prepared for the coming year. The revised curriculum is being implemented for the first time and courses are more integrated due to considerable planning and coordination among lecturers. External examination and internal moderation of the 2011 academic year provides the guideline for the further development of the programme and as last year practicing architects will be invited to provide continuous input and feedback on the different courses.

*Originally published on 1 February 2012


Date: August 13, 2018

With the external examiners / moderators come and gone, the students, like ants escaping from rainfall, have disappeared into their various homes for rest after “long” months of work. But for the staff, it is work as usual. Besides the final compilation and submission of moderated marks, the need to ensure that all bricks are in place in preparation for the 2012 Academic Year is paramount. It is also the time for retro-inspection.According to the external examiners / moderators, the Department has come a long way after the hazy start of 2010. To cite one moderator’s position: “I was impressed with both the combination of project themes and the quality of the work produced by the students. The sequence of the projects from abstract to concrete provide a clear scaffolding for the students’ learning process, and it is evident from discussions with the students that they have found the sequence of projects to be beneficial to their academic development”.

In the list of accomplishments in the outgoing year are: comprehensive review and approval by Senate, of the B.Arch Hons Curriculum; reconstitution of the Programme Advisory Committee; NIA-Department of Architecture Public Lecture Series; renewed professional collaboration with NCAQS; successful academic linkage with FH-Aachen University of Applied Science, Germany; setting up Year I Computer Lab and Plotting / Printing facilities; Departmental Regulations; Work Integrated Learning Guidelines; and development of Departmental Library Resources, amongst others.

Finally, I must give due recognition to the teamwork spirit of the staff. The highly motivated faculty is determined to succeed despite all odds. I am therefore confident that the “foundation bricks” are firmly being laid and the Architecture School at the PoN is bound for greater heights.

Prof. Sampson Umenne, Head of Department

*Originally published on 1 December 2011

Tags: NEWS

Date: August 13, 2018

To round off the public program towards the end of the academic year 2011, the Department invites you all to a film screening followed by a short debate on modern architectural heritage in Africa, a topic that is hardly addressed in architectural circles.

Film synopsis:

The film Many words for Moderncelebrates the architectural heritage of Dar es Salaam and the concepts of modernisation that make this African city to what it is today.

Following Anthony Almeida and some of his colleagues, it questions what is left of the dreams and ideals of the architects who introduced modern architecture in East Africa about 60 years ago and how do they look upon their city today.

The film searches for new definitions of happiness in booming African cities like today’s Dar es Salaam. Is Tanzania’s identity still reflected in a carefully designed city centre or will it be formed by the creativity of an informal economy in fast growing spontaneous settlements? What role can architecture play in a global society in which capital determines the lay-out of a city more than urban planners and architects do?

While discussing the proper Swahili word for Modern, the film documents the everlasting human pursuit of modernity, not only in architecture but also in contemporary urban life.

Jord den Hollander, Tanzania / Netherlands 2007, 60 minutes, English spoken.


*Originally published on 1 November 2011



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