Course Description

This course introduces students to the concepts for developing new African and Diaspora architectural languages, inspired by the culture and technology of traditional and contemporary African societies. The course surveys both the African and Diaspora built environment, teaching design practices that are culturally and environmentally sustainable. Students will be introduced to the research initiatives of CPDI Africa – The Community Planning & Design Initiative Africa.

Course curriculum

  1. 01
    • Module One Syllabus

  2. 02
    • Module One Lecture

Course Objective

The course Understanding the CPDI Africa 5 Elements of African Centered Architecture allows us to study the cultural and historical narratives of a people, as preserved through their architectural heritage and built urban landscapes. In this special course, students will engage in live architectural preservation research that seek to articulate clear evolutionary concepts that translate the essence of traditional African architecture, into the contemporary built environment. The course seeks to reconnect the broken link of Africa’s architectural ‘natural evolution’ as a result of colonization and imported cultural identities.

Course Topics

  1. Introduction to African Centered Architecture
  2. Culture and Lifestyle in Traditional Africa
  3. Spirituality in the Built Environment
  4. The Elements of Aesthetics - Decorative and Symbolic
  5. Materials and Community Engagement Philosophies
  6. Afrofuturism: Transformation in African & Diaspora Architecture

Course Texts & References

Denyer, Susan. African Traditional Architecture. American Publishing Company, 1978

Hughes, David, Afrocentric architecture: a design primer. Greyden Press, 1994.

Elleh, Nnamdi. African Architecture: Evolution and Transformation. McGraw Hill, 1996

DOM Publishers, Sub-Saharan Africa, Architectural Guide, 2021

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