The Architecture Africa Initiative is a collaborative effort with the UF Center for African Studies and the College of Design Construction and Planning.

The goals of the collaboration are:

  • To promote African Architecture, whether located on the continent, or designed by architects worldwide who identify themselves as African;
  • To involve our professional students with the past, present, and future of African nations through research and design of the built environment;
  • To connect UF to the global network of people with active interest in the study and making of architecture in Africa.

Coordinator: Associate Professor Donna Cohen (

The Architecture Africa Initiative has hosted lectures from prominent African architects, conducted workshops with faculty and students, supported faculty and student travel to Africa, and strengthened ties to Universities and professionals in Africa.


ARC 6793 Advanced Topics in Regional Architecture
with Associate Professor Donna Cohen

Past Lectures at the University of Florida

Lecture & Workshop: “Learnt in Translation”
with Architect Peter Rich, Johannesburg, South Africa

Workshop: “Confronting the challenge of working in an African context”
with Professor Donna Cohen, Design 8 Studio

Lecture: “Step by Step: Building Schools in Africa” 
with Architect Diebedo Francis Kere, Burkina Faso/Germany

Lecture: “Architecture and Urbanism in Italy’s African Empire”
with Dr. David Rifkind, Assistant Professor Florida International University

Lecture: “Between Tradition and Modernity, The Work of a Contemporary Ethiopian Architect”
with Architect Fasil Giorghis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Lecture: “Historic Preservation and Cultural Heritage Management at Aksum and Lalibela, Ethiopia: The Challenges of World Bank and European Union Funding of Cultural Heritage Projects”
with Architect Fasil Giorghis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Lecture: “Why have we abandoned the Mud Hut?”
with Architect Joe Osae-Addo, Accra, Ghana

Workshop: “Proposal for Luana Gardens
with Design 8 Studio, Professor Donna Cohen

Lecture: “Beyond Design: The Women’s Center Rufisque, Senegal”
with Architect Hollmen Reuter Sandman, Helsinki, Finland


  • “Modest Architectures: Designing in East Africa,” College of Design Construction Planning Gallery
  • “The Women’s Center Rufisque, Senegal,” College of Design Construction Planning Gallery
  • “Drawings of Lalibela, Ethiopia,” College of Design Construction Planning Gallery


To read recent recaps of Africa Architecture Initiative Working Group events, please click here.