The Casablanca Educational Roundtable Key themes

Casablanca Balcony  November 2011

At the recently held 5th  AA Perspectives Conference in Casablanca, an African Education Roundtable was held, challenged with beginning the debate on challenging contemporary Architectural Teaching and Education inside and outside of Africa. Participants were invited to present working papers that presented and represented their views on being involved in teaching aspects of AFrican architecture in their Academic institutions, and also how they viewed the current available texts and literature available for today’s students in the areas.

Below is the original invitation to join the roundtable, with the theme questions asked

Theme Questions

Whilst the key theme for the roundtable, African Architectural Education, is broad in coverage, we are inviting participants to focus on some specific theme questions related to African Architectural Education. Namely:


  • How do we conceptualise African Architectural history research and its methodology?
  • How do (or should) we teach and ensure African Architectural history is part of an international canon of Architectural history teaching?
  • How do we deal with issues of contemporary ‘hybridity’ and identity
  • Digital /network creativity in producing and publishing research & textbooks
  • Supporting real collaborative research  & institutional research collaborations


Roundtable Objectives

The roundtable is envisaged to have two key roles:


Firstly, to provide a forum for the general discussion on African Architectural Education, exploring its shortcomings and needs for a 21st century student audience.


Secondly, to bring together academic thought on and participation in the creation of a body of contemporary writing on African Architectural History,  this is likely to be in the form of an academic ‘Reader with contributed texts from participants, and possibly including key existing texts which participants feel are essential reading for Masters, and post graduate students studying African Architectural History.


Ideally the final text should be available and accessible to a wide audience, especially Africa-based students and post graduate researchers. For this reason an open access online publication is envisaged, that would precede and be published earlier than the ultimate textbook publication that would be proposed.


This second objective is an aspiration, the Casablanca conference will be the forum in which this can be explored and developed into an agreed project plan. It is hoped that those who are able and willing to participate in the realisation of the African Architectural History text will therefore come prepared with “work in progress” or drafts and examples of work/text that is felt relevant for discussion and inclusion in the future publication.


In recognition that not all who are interested in the project will be able to get to Casablanca, the call is being sent out for working position papers (max 2000 words) related to the themes suggested, or other areas the contributors feel are of particular relevance to the discussion.