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we are a non-profit Cape Town based school of architecture in the making.



SEA exists to provide professional degrees in architecture. Our three-year undergraduate BAS degree, one year BAS(Hons) and one year MArch(Prof) have support from the South African Council for the Architectural Profession and our applications have been submitted to the relevant state authorities to register as a Private Higher Education Institution.

Our First Year class of 24 students began their studies in January 2022. We aim to provide a rich explorative education, balanced with strong input from industry leaders in the architectural profession.


The year we start teaching


Our class size


Our bursary target per 24



We claim creativity & exploration as our teaching and learning mission aimed to counteract the decimation of imagination left by institutionalized inequality and poverty. We balance this with strong input from industry leaders in the architectural profession for work-ready graduates.

Students will be empowered change-agents with a global outlook from an African context, able to make a better future, to become lateralist literalists. Our education will be a transformative experience that will bring a love of architecture and a deep care for our planet and its people.

We want our students to shine bright with passion & ideas, and like our logo, we firmly believe that everyone becomes stronger once their worlds cross paths and interact with others.

The primary goal of SEA is offering professional degree programmes and studies in architecture and design, with creativity and experimental design as a dominant pedagogic model. This educational approach is balanced by a strategic partnering with local architects and architectural firms in our delivery of practice-ready, future leader graduates. Through this we aim to promote the value of design and architecture for society and culture, and aim to provide a forum for the exploration of ideas and experimentation.

the campus

The school is situated in the heart of Cape Town in the beautiful Union House on Commercial St.


sea in the year 2027


MArch(Prof) Graduates
Our first cohort of First Years have graduated with an MArch(Prof) degree. Confident, creative, empowered and employable, they create their own future in an ever evolving profession. They love architecture and care for people and our planet. They are Africans with a global outlook.

Community Work
Our second Honours class has just finished their design-build community project. Their learning experience has contributed to a local community and their building needs. As employed interns they have given local architectural practices the means to enhance social responsiveness.

Study Abroad Exchanges
We are five years into hosting students from around the world on our “study abroad” programmes. They bring ideas, difference, and another world view, connecting our students to a global network. Beyond the rule book we experiment with radical ways of teaching and learning.

Radical Transformation
Our first year class is moving beyond our target of 50% bursary funding with the support of ongoing donations. The students are from a range of backgrounds bringing a richness and diversity unique to our beloved country. The explorative and supportive environment at SEA has given them the means to make a future unforeseen.

Visiting Architects
Our sold out annual lecture series is good news for our bursary fund. Those who missed these world famous architects and inspiring speakers have not lost out. They can still read the lectures published on our website and in print through our architectural press.

Our SAIL  (Science, Art + Intelligence Lab) introduces an interdisciplinary research program incorporating design, engineering, arts, and science. Bridging local and global institutions, we have just enrolled the first cohort of post-professional masters students from around the globe. Thanks to donation of funds a radical and experimental engagement with media, arts, and science is underway.

Architecture facilitates the spatial practices through which transformation may occur.

– academic staff

Our “Bachelor of Architectural Studies” degree equips you with the knowledge and practical skills to define and explore hard questions.

A degree that introduces you to history and theory, mathematics, computation, and design, our BAS jump starts a career enabling students to enter multiple disciplines and industries in the built environment and beyond.

Architecture may be formal, but it is not about creating form. Instead, architecture is a medium that, when applied thoughtfully, facilitates the spatial practices through which transformation may occur.

“To dream is not enough; ideas need to be tested.”

– academic staff

We established the School of Explorative Architecture – to provide the challenging space in which ideas, imagination and risk-taking can flourish and be tested.

Exploration, creativity, invention, lateral thinking, critical thinking – these are the greatest educational attributes that can prepare students for an ambiguous and uncertain future.