The School offers a range of programmes concerned with the planning and design of our environment. The disciplines represented compliment one-another and create a learning environment that is rich and diverse: Architecture is concerned with buildings and their relationship to society’s spaces and places, Landscape Architecture is concerned with the natural environment and its interaction with human occupation, Urban Design is concerned with the quality of larger scale spaces and places, Planning is concerned ,with the design and management of change in the built and natural environment, and Conservation is concerned with our built heritage and its future existence. All the programmes represented share concerns around the quality of human settlement and the natural environment. The programmes in Architecture and Planning share a strong contextual approach and a commitment to engage with Cape Town as a locus with unique and important challenges.
A career in the design and planning of the built environment involves creative, technical, theoretical and managerial work to meet society’s need for shelter, accommodation and organisation. These needs range from the larger scale of cities and regions, to the intermediate scale of buildings and parks, and to the small scale of rooms and furniture – all of which need to be designed, built and managed. Designers and planners work with many other technical specialists, often in large multi-disciplinary teams, to turn conceptual ideas into reality. This process of design and planning takes many factors into account, including the needs of users, environmental sustainability, functional requirements, legal frameworks and financial constraints. Designers and planners have the intellectual and creative ability to synthesise these complex requirements in coherent and expressive form and policy.
At UCT, the Bachelor of Architectural Studies under-graduate degree (BAS) is a foundation programme in the design of buildings and the urban or landscaped environments around them. This degree provides the necessary ability in design, theory, technology and communication to proceed the graduate professional programmes in Architecture (the design of buildings), Landscape Architecture (environmental planning and design), Urban Design (the design of whole city precincts), and City and Regional Planning (settlement planning at a larger scale). These streams lead in turn to professional practice as Architects, Landscape Architects, Urban Designers, and City and Regional Planners.
The School is committed to creating an enabling environment in which students not only build their knowledge, but also their character. We want our students not only to be equipped with disciplinary knowledge of their field of study, but also a set of values that underpin their thinking and actions.
We value education, learning and knowledge; imagination and creativity; open-mindedness and diversity; perceptiveness and perseverance.
The ethos of this School is strongly influenced by our context, both the physical context, the city, and the broader social, cultural and economic context of the region and the country. We are committed to engage with these contexts in both a meaningful and critical way, not as abstract sites for investigation but rather as peopled places to which we can respond.