OpenArchitecture is being rolled out as the first of SAIA’s transformation projects aligned to Skills Development to address the educational and structural bottlenecks being experienced on the current available model of full time study only, to the journey to becoming a registered Senior Architectural Technologists and Professional Architect.

OpenArchitecture is executed through registration and graduation from an existing Architectural Learning Site (ALS) at an accredited University or University of Technology

Students, who must be in full-time employment in an approved Architectural Professional practice, will register through the central admissions office of the participating ALS and be allocated to an approved OpenArchitecture monitored practitioner, as well as local and/or on-line Tutors.

The OpenArchitecture model offers a blend of both formal and informal learning engagements through:

  • An interactive, web-based platform
  • Office based learning
  • Mentor and tutor support

This model allows the programme to offer lectures in real time, as well as via recordings. Virtual, interactive design studios are facilitated on the platform giving remote students access to the studio experience.

Evaluation will be both formative and summative, with a Semester end portfolio review for which all work will be uploaded and presented at the registered ALS or a regional venue when necessary.

Approved employers will be required to support students through mentoring activities and the student will need occasional leave from work to attend an Orientation Block (February), Mid-year Review Block (June) and Year–end Review Block (November) for academic preparation work, tests and portfolio assessments. Employers and students will be required to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) which outlines their roles and responsibilities.

Students registered on the programmes will be expected to spend the equivalent of 50% of the time that full time students spend on their studies during the dates of the academic calendar. The study time commitments will vary during the academic year but amounts to about 20 hours per week during term time. Although some of these hours can be done after office/ working hours and on weekends, an agreement between the employer and the student will be needed to allow the student some study time during normal working hours.

Students will need to be computer literate (word, ppt, graphics, CAD, 3D modelling) and have access to online learning tools (a computer and internet connection) during and after office hours. Online engagements are data-intensive and students will have to budget for this.

Course offerings will be in line with the accredited standards currently recognised by SACAP at Bachelors, Honours and Masters levels.