Professor Amira Osman

Prof Amira Omer Siddig Osman is a Sudanese/South African architect/lecturer/researcher. She is currently a professor of Architecture at the Tshwane University of Technology.
Prof Osman studied at the University of Khartoum in Sudan in 1988 (B.Sc.) and 1996 (M.Sc.). In between the two years, she also studied at the Institute for Housing Studies in Rotterdam (IHS) in 1992 where she obtained a postgraduate diploma. She completed her PhD in Architecture at the University of Pretoria in 2004. 

She worked as an architect in Khartoum during the period 1988 – 1997 with various practices on small and large projects and was a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) in Maseru, Lesotho 1997-1998, as an architect with the Department of Public Works. She practiced as an architect in the Sudan and has participated in a number of projects in South Africa including a hostel upgrade and designs for social housing in Pretoria. Prof Osman is a registered Professional Architect with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and while her focus is academic and research-oriented, she continues to practice on a small scale. 

She taught at a number of institutions for about 30 years in total, with 10 years at the University of Khartoum, 11 years at the University of Pretoria and five years at the University of Johannesburg. She established the Housing and Urban Environments (HUE_UP) research field at the University of Pretoria and at the University of Johannesburg. She also established UJ’s research and academic UNIT 2 “Architecture and Agency: DESIGN | MAKE | TRANSFORM” in 2015. Prof Osman taught Housing and Urban Policy at BTechlevel during the period 2016-2017. She has previously worked as a Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria (2010-2012).

Prof Oman was one of the conference conveners for the World Congress on Housing in 2005 at the University of Pretoria and the convener of the Sustainable Human(e) Settlements: the urban challenge, 2012, hosted by FADA, University of Johannesburg and its partners. She also served as UIA 2014 Durban General Reporter for the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA).

She believes that the architectural profession has a critical role to play in the achievement of human settlements that are more equitable, more beautiful and more functional – human settlements that increase opportunities, offering people a better chance at improving their lives and livelihoods. The belief that the profession has the potential to offer both technical and social expertise towards these aims is the driving force behind Amira’s research projects and in her professional roles.
Prof Osman’s field of expertise and research specialisation are as follows:

  • Housing Finance 

  • Housing Theory 

  • Housing Policy 

  • Urban Policy

  • Social Housing

  • Informal Settlements and upgrading 

  • Community-Based Architecture 

  • Open Building 

  • 4-D Design 

  • Time-Based Design

  • Sustainable Building Transformation 

  • Design: Theory and Methods 

  • Sudanese Modernism

  • Sudanese Built Environment History 

  • Sudanese Housing Finance​