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The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the professional registration body for Architects in South Africa, has endorsed our degree program.

Our undergraduate program in Architecture is accredited by the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Department of Higher Education and Training has registered SEA (reg no: 2021/HE08/002) as a private higher education institution site. This registration is provisional until 31 Dec 2024 until we have been inspected as a site of delivery.

Our curriculum for the BAS degree has been fully accredited by the CHE*. *subject to their inspections and conditions to be met before April 2022 .

Our first validation will occur at the end of our first 3 years of teaching the BAS (Bachelor of Architectural Studies) degree. All degrees are validated based on student work in retrospect. (‘New’ institutions go through this process, but existing institutions are also reassessed at a 5-year interval.)

SEA has already submitted a postgraduate offering to the CHE but these degrees will only be considered for accreditation once SEA has delivered on a year of our undergraduate BAS programme and adapted our curriculum for the BA Hons and M Arch Prof degrees to meet their conditions.

You can find out more about the team by visiting the crew page

For more information about the application process visit the admissions page.

Anyone. We believe that everyone has a unique life experience and perspective that should be valued and engaged with. The word “education” comes from the root word meaning to “draw out of” – to be educated means to be drawn out of yourself and for us to help draw out the best in you.

We would ideally like creative, courageous, risk-taking students who are willing to work in ambiguous and contradictory conditions, who are willing to put themselves out there. We believe that the best ‘training’ you can get in your education is to be prepared for things to be unclear, unpredictable, and rapidly changing because that is what the world increasingly is.

These are not prescribed courses for entry into our BAS degree, but they may be helpful for exploring ideas through making and drawing things.

Absolutely not! We teach structural principles and physics by making and breaking things and experiencing things directly through our bodies – this embodied learning experience is increasingly more important as the calculations of loads and stresses are being number-crunched through software applications that take the designer away from a real knowledge of how physics works in the architectural context. At the more general level, there are no studies that correlate success in mathematics with success in architecture. This is not to undermine the importance of mathematics: while architecture is predominantly a cultural and discursive practice design also requires a strong sense of logic and causality which can be imparted through the study of mathematics.

Correct. The South African Council for the Architectural Profession does “validate” degree programmes but they can only do this as an evaluation of the work produced by students. Their letter of “support” indicates that they believe the curriculum should produce student work at a level that can be validated. All schools of architecture have their teaching and learning validated in a retrospective review of student work.

We intend to have our BAS degree validated by the Commonwealth Association of Architects (www.comarchitect.org) who we will invite to form part of the validation team with SACAP. Please note that this international validation is a benchmarking process and does not give the automatic ability to register as a professional abroad – all inter-country transfers in the architectural profession need to validate their degree locally and write the local exam no matter which Architectural Learning Site they studied at!

We believe that as a non-profit institution SEA can do much more than only deliver professional degrees. We want to help change Cape Town and South Africa and want to mobilise people and funding around this mission. Remember, non-profit does not mean a “charity case” – just that SEA can never be sold for profit. We hope that SEA will be a powerful force long after its founding members have moved or passed on and new passionate and creative people can steer it forward as custodians of the originating vision of an explorative and creative architectural education.

See above! Running a School of Architecture as a non-profit School of Architecture carries the same cost as running a “for-profit” School of Architecture. We intend to use our non-profit and Public Benefit Organisation status to attract tax-deductible donations through which we can start to address social betterment and other projects.

Full-fee paying students will be donating 25% of their fee to the SEA bursary fund which means that you can claim that back as a tax-deductible donation and directly help in the transformation of our country.

In other words, the ‘top up’ from public university fees to private higher education fees is actually a direct contribution you make to changing people’s lives. One of the ways in which our donations might help bring down our fees is via a fees rebate for our BAS degree whereby we pledge to distribute, once the bills have been paid, 25% of our monetary donations back to registered students. This rebate can be put towards the following year’s tuition fees. Whilst this means your final fee amount can change from year to year it should always be less than the advertised price.

The School of Explorative Architecture is what it says it is – a School helping students and staff explore architecture thinking, working and making in challenging and creative ways. The acronym SEA suggests journeys, discovery and the unknown…“thinking beyond the horizon”. Our Logo is formed from the three letters of SEA and makes a “theta” symbol which has origins in the ocean-going Phoenician alphabet. The logo also refers to a “plimsoll line” on the hull of ships which show the loading limit under different sea conditions – which again suggests we are ready to go into different waters and need to adjust accordingly! Most importantly the three colours held within the black circle (which can be understood as the encircling safe space of the institution of SEA) are the basis from which all the colours in the world can be made; we want strong individuals who are comfortable to be challenged when they interact with other people, ideas and things and become richer and are open to change in the process. This is what a transformative educational experience is about…


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