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Social Architecture applies the theories of affordable building to impoverished areas inhabited by the poorest of the poor, whose facilities are inadequate and/or non-existent.

The design and building concepts of an international partner university are implemented for the creation of the physical structures, and students from the university come to construct the building, thus encouraging social tourism and the transfer of skills from the university students to unemployed and often uneducated, locals.

To see the processes of an actual live project please visit the Nottingham University School of Built Environment website that was created by the students for their project designed and built in Jouberton, North West Province, South Africa


These socially effective design build projects are incorporated into the academic programme of the partner university where their students design the structure, and a number of students are then   selected to physically come and build the facilities over a 6 – 7 week period. We encourage the construction of pre-schools and pre-school training centres which we link to our Education Africa ECD (Early Childhood Development) project. The international students are also involved in raising funds for the project.

The centres are designed and constructed by the students using simple inexpensive local building materials, while applying innovative solutions to architectural problems. Often, the students include unemployed local residents in the building of the facilities in order to encourage skills transfer.

Education Africa identifies projects, local partners; obtain permission from relevant departments and stakeholders, and sources accommodation and food for students, where possible at reduced rates or through donations. Education Africa, through our ECD project, also helps to ensure that partners and structures are in place so that the centres will be run and maintained effectively, once built.

A decision was recently taken by Education Africa that all future projects will be restricted to the design and construction of Pre-School facilities only. There is an enormous need for such facilities in South Africa, and in collaboration with the Education Africa Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme; we will then undertake the necessary training of caregivers and ECD facilitators, where necessary.





Projects completed


Lesedi Nhlahle