The course will be an expose of how the Architecture of Africa is tied to the life of Africans themselves in all facets. Students will be introduced to the research initiatives of CPDI Africa. It will be the anatomy of the components of what African Architecture was (the traditional), what it is (the modern) and where it ought to be.

Course Outline

  • This course is designed as a path into the concept of Design Brief, tying it to the African context in detail, focusing on Africa and how her cultures, climates, people, vegetation, beliefs are all tied to. It will look at the factors we consider as shapers of African Architecture. The past will be studied (how the traditional architecture was, how it strived), learning from there, to launch the now (what can be maintained or modernized from the past) ushering the future that is easily identifiable as its modern Architectural Culture.

  • This course will highlight the five (5) elements used to define an African Afrocentric Architecture namely: Aesthetics and Form, Materials and Sustainability, Culture and Lifestyle, Process and Cost, Spirituality and Philosophy. It x-rays these elements to the ethnic group of study. This analysis will form the foundation of dissection of an Afrocentric Design brief, using a specific African ethnic group as a guide. This will be a study of the interwoven nature of the very lifestyle of Africans and their Architecture / Built Environment, thus opening up an understanding of the how and why Architecture is such. This will culminate with a design that represents the interpretation of an African Architecture Design Brief.

  • This study is a survey of Igbo lifestyle and architecture: how their food, music, culture, beliefs, origination story, environment, agriculture and business defined them and their architecture. It will cover the impact of science, technology and society on their architecture and built environment, and survey master builders, architects and designers, in history and the present that have toed the path of defining Afrocentric buildings, learning from them how best to use philosophies and materials to create masterpieces. This will conglomerate in an Igbocentric Design inspired by all the studies, as a response to a Design Brief for an African Architecture specific to the Igbos.

Course Objective

  • The course Interpretations of the African Architecture Design Brief allows us to follow up my sojourn into the World of Afrocentric Architectural Design. The course is designed to make you understand bit by bit the easiest way to understand the concept of design to carry an African identity, specific to a people or an ethnic group. You will be able to see the inspiration for the quest, the understanding of the people’s way of life, their Traditional Architecture and the Specific Elements that made their architecture stand out. It will also be an analysis of how these traditional elements can be modernized to provide a modern signature by which the specific ethnic group can be identified.

  • This becomes critical as it is practically a beginner’s guide for everyone on how to both understand the concept of an Afrocentric Design Brief, but also how to interpret it. This course will portray the mechanics that drive CPDI AFRICA in her designs through the lens of her definition of Afrocentric Architecture. It is a holistic cover of the process of becoming an expert on the subject matter.

Course curriculum

  1. 01
    • Interpretations of the African Architecture Design Brief

  2. 02
    • Module One

    • Module One Video

Earn the CPDI Africa Diploma


Certificates of Completion are awarded to students after completing each of the Modules contained in a course. All CPDI Africa courses are audited, allowing students to pace their progress and learning outcomes. Submission of research and assignments, and other learning objectives given by the instructors, is not required, however we encourage students to complete the assignments to aid in successful passing of the Diploma designation graduation exam. Designation of the Diploma in African Centered Architecture is awarded to a student upon successful completion of 3 (three) full CPDI Africa courses, taken either on the virtual platform, having completed face to face, or in person workshops in Africa, and successful passing of the graduating exam offered once annually. For more information on earning your Diploma in African Centered Architecture, contact the CPDI Africa Global Studio registrar at [email protected].