By | May 5, 2022

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Nnenna Abengowe (Nigeria/UK/US) as the Deputy Director of the Graduate School of Architecture (GSA).

Anna Abengowe holds a Bachelor in Art History from Boston University and a Master’s in Architecture from Princeton University.  After extensive experience working in corporate architecture (The Rockwell Group, AECOM and Woods Bagot) in the United States, Anna was motivated to shift to education and pedagogy in Africa when introduced to the GSA in 2017.

From Anna Abengowe: “The education of an African architect became a weighty consideration to challenge and expand the accumulated knowledge gained through years in practice. I am thrilled to be joining a School charged with a community of talented and passionate faculty, personnel and students; individuals dedicated to advancing the project to interrogate and implement transformative pedagogy in South Africa.

“Founded by Prof Lesley Lokko, who implemented the Unit System Africa in a profound act of pedagogical transformation, the GSA is one of the most radical undertakings in architectural education on the African continent.  Now in its seventh year, it is a privilege to join such an exceptional community of educators, researchers and students at such a notable and authentically public institution.”

As the Deputy Director, Anna looks forward to working closely with GSA Director Prof Mark Raymond and the entire GSA community and contributing to strategies on curriculum reform, the expansion of programme offerings, develop the School’s international reputation and build upon critical disciplinary linkages whilst strengthening the current level of academic inquiry and excellence.

“Anna brings valuable international experience and knowledge to the GSA. We are looking forward to her contribution to the evolution of the School as we embark on a range of new trajectories.” – Prof Mark Raymond, Director, Graduate School of Architecture.

Graduate School of Architecture

Since its inception in 2015, UJ’s Graduate School of Architecture has had a significant impact on architectural education and culture in South Africa and further afield. The School’s Unit System Africa represents a daring venture in the architectural landscape of South Africa and has rapidly established itself as a nexus of innovative education and research through the remarkable work of the School’s students and staff.

The GSA is currently embarking on expanded engagement with schools of architecture and practitioners throughout Africa and the diaspora through innovative research strategies built around transformational research, theory and practice.