Participate in the power of community-centered design to shape spaces that foster dignity.

Join Wandile Mthiyane in a community-centered program where you design directly with a Zulu family and community.

Do you want to learn first-hand how strong communities are built in a locally-calibrated context?

Join this interactive, live DesignClass and learn how traditional Zulu Architecture has evolved and been influenced by history, culture, and space. Then apply this knowledge to the design of a home for a resilient family in Durban, South Africa.

Photo Credit: Johnny Miller

"Start from the beginning and understand what makes a strong community."

Learn the history from local experts and community members directly.

We will go back to a time when a home was not designed to be a monument but a place to facilitate cultural experiences, reflect community values, and teach the next generation.

A home as an inclusive safe space for all who need refuge, molded to the needs of the household and built with intention.

Image Credit: Franco Frescura

"This class will bring traditional Zulu knowledge into a modern context."

Gain a new perspective on how you influence the world. 

At the same time, we will be rooted in the present. Learning about modern-day architecture and how apartheid influenced and continues to influence the lives of people living in South Africa. While the institution may be long gone, its effects can still be felt and experienced by many.

The Post-Colonial Metropolis of South African Cities

Analyze and challenge conventional representations of South African cities, while reflecting on how these histories have shaped present-day dynamics. 

Survey the broad contours of different trajectories of urbanization and the patterns of social, economic, and political transformation specific cities are undergoing in the era of globalization.

Our hope is to train the next generation of world architects to partner with local communities to design places that are inviting, equitable, and inclusive of all.

Brought to you by Ubuntu Education Inc.  

Ubuntu Education is an intercollegiate, cross cultural program; that focuses on immersing students into a historical, socio-economic and community-driven design experience. We work in partnership with (and under the tutelage of) the Umbumbulu community to tackle spatial justice.

Class Dates: June 1-30, 2021

This is a hands-on class with weekly virtual meetings between participants and class leaders. You'll also learn from local community members, guest lecturers, and architecture experts.

You'll learn about: the history and effects of apartheid architecture in South Africa, designing in a culturally-influenced way, and how to design for a resilient family in Durban, SA.

Pre-Design Challenge
Download Brief 
Registration Deadline April 20, 2021
Pre-Design Submission Deadline May 1, 2021
Orientation Day May 31, 2021
Class Dates June 1-30, 2021

"If apartheid architecture could segregate and oppress, community-based design can liberate and enable opportunity, growth, and commerce"

Wandle Mthiyane

What You'll Learn

Access exclusive videos & materials

Learn to Design for Inclusion

Learn about the effects of apartheid-era architecture while being part of the ongoing community healing process through inclusive design.

Apartheid Architecture DesignClass

Learn from the Source

Meet with local community members and experts who can provide a unique insight & perspective.

Zulu Architecture DesignClass

Your Design has Impact

Apply your design knowledge to a real-world project for a resilient family in Durban.

Zulu Architect DesignClass

Learn from a team dedicated to social equity

Wandile Mthiyane & Ubuntu Design Group

Wandile Mthiyane, founder of Ubuntu Design Group, grew up in the shanty towns of Durban, South Africa, and always dreamed of returning to make a difference in his home town. After studying architecture in the US, he moved back to his hometown to bring meaningful change.
Wandile Mthiyane DesignClass

Join students from around the world

Learn from and connect with other members of this DesignClass inside an exclusive community.

Zulu Architecture DesignClass community

Enroll Today

Learn at your own pace
on any device


Thank you to those who helped 
make this program possible.

Rush Dixon Architecture Logo

Edward Deegan Architects

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Are you a leader in a design firm or company active in the architectural profession? You can find information about becoming a sponsor here.


Need-based scholarships are available to select participants of the program These scholarships will help to cover all or some of the costs of attending the program.

Click here to apply for a scholarship.


  • When does this class start?

    This class runs from June 1-30, 2021. It will include weekly meetings directly with Wandile, his team, and local community members.

  • Do I have to attend all the weekly meeting?

    While we cannot force you to attend every weekly meeting, you are strongly encouraged to do so to get the most out of the program.

  • Who is this DesignClass for?

    This DesignClass is for anyone who has dreamed of designing architecture that brings equity, joy, and strength to a community.

Join DesignClass,
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