Kenyatta University To Start School Of Architecture And Spatial Planning


Kenyatta University (KU) has announced plans to start offering courses in Architecture. Prof Olive Mugenda, KU vice chancellor, led a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday July 29 in discussions towards the establishment of the school at the university’s main campus along Thika Road.

Architecture has to do with planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience to reflect functional, technical, social, environmental and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of materials and technology, and of light and shadow.

Spatial design is a relatively new discipline that crosses the boundaries of traditional design disciplines such as architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and landscape design as well as public art within the Public Realm.

“Today, we have been given an opportunity to develop a programme that will shape young minds and the development of this country. A programme with the potential to instill the passion we all feel for the different disciplines we practice, and produce students with the skills, knowledge and drive to make sure the terms mediocre and ordinary are long forgotten,” said architect

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Mariamu Emaawy, principal secretary at the ministry of housing. Currently, only three universities offer courses in architecture and spatial planning: University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta and Technical University.

Architects work with engineers and other construction experts. According to architecture lecture at the University of Nairobi, Mwalyo Ndulu, the biggest challenge currently facing universities in offering the courses is shortage of qualified architects to teach.

“Most of the trained architects will rather go into private consultancy because lecturers at the public universities do not make as much money,” he said.

The expert also pointed out that architecture courses were expensive to mount and therefore most universities find it challenging because of limited resources from the government. The number of students enrolling in the programmes are also kept at a low.

“These professionals will need a strong educational foundation based on both theory and practice. They will need to attend institutions that have clear, yet detailed study programmes that ensure they are well equipped to handle matters at a national level with consequences that will impact citizens personally,” architect Emaawy said.

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