“To move forward, people need to be inspired: they need buildings that enhance their creativity and push them to take their future into their own hands.”

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Academic diligence and class attendance

Tertiary students must be self-motivated and will determine, by means of their own initiative, their specific learning progress and pace. They therefore take full responsibility for their own academic well being.

The staff will assist you in this learning process by providing good lectures and learning material and the necessary guidance but will not “baby sit” you. Few staff members check class attendance by means of roll call [although there are a small number that do so] and most determine your attendance by means of assignment hand-ins and test marks. Whenever we do become aware that a student is neglecting class attendance you will be contacted by the guidance lecturer to see if we can assist you with any problems.

Please note that according to the TUT exclusion policy, you could be excluded from the University if you do not comply to the expected norms for attendance of classes and tutorial sessions [studio attendance]

Labspace

Because a significant body of lecturing material is available in electronic format [MS Word, Excel or Power Point files] the Department has made an electronic library available to the students. This directory where the files are stored is known as LABSPACE and it is available on the network of the CAD laboratory. This is a read only directory. This document would for instance be available there as who what and where-jan 2012-ep-ss

myTUTor

Certain subjects are enriched through the use of myTUTor, an internet based interactive software which can be accessed wherever internet is available. The staff members who are using this will give you more details in class.

Location

Our department is located on Staatsartillerie Road in Pretoria West within the Tshwane University of Technology Pretoria main campus, Building 11. Some of our facilities and classes are located in Building 2 floor 2.

Administrative queries

The admin offices where the secretaries and technical staff are located is where you should attempt to resolve all your issues and hopefully get answers to most of your questions. The Head of Department is Prof. Jacques Laubscher. Prof. Laubscher is involved in design consultation, and in HOD admin duties and Faculty meetings as determined by the Dean.

For administrative and other personal issues you must first attempt to sort out your queries and problems with the Departmental Administrator, Ms Lemaria Labuschagne.

The staff member responsible for the undergraduate program is Ms Marinda Bolt, who is Head of the undergraduate school.
The Head of the postgraduate department is Ms Sushma Patel.

Specialist lecturers

One of the reasons for the excellent students the Department consistently delivers is largely due to the experienced, specialist staff component who is appointed for their expertise and knowledge in specific fields. They are all practicing professionals and/or academics that were selected to teach on invitation by the Department. They are therefore not as readily available to the students and should you need to consult them, you should make appointments to see them just before or after their contact periods.

Due to the fact that sharing and imparting their knowledge and skills with the students and lecturers in our Department is something they do in addition to a normal daytime workload and responsibilities, their availability for individual consultation is limited, and therefore difficult at times. We will endeavour in assisting them to make increasing use of the opportunities offered through by myTUTor. This can help communication and create a presence and source of information even when they (or you!) are not physically on campus.

Mentoring staff (Studio-masters / Mentors)

Each year group has a staff member assigned as a mentor (Studio-masters / Mentors). This person will be available for personal counselling and specific problems you may have, be they academic or personal. So if you need assistance and help, check the consultation times of your relevant mentor lecturer to make an appointment either personally or via the Departmental administrator, Ms Lemaria Labuschagne. The mentoring lecturers will also monitor your academic performance and progress from time to time, and approach perceived potential risk students.

Technical assistants

The Department appoints technical assistants to assist the administrative and lecturing staff with certain duties. The staff member responsible for the administration and appointment of technical staff is Mr Leon Pienaar. The rosters and duty times of the technical assistants are pinned up at the respective stations. Advertisements are posted during October and interested students must apply in writing.

Copying and learning

Copyright must be observed at all times. It is expected that students submitting work for evaluation are familiar with TUT’s general rules and regulations in this regard. Unless otherwise stated all projects and work handed in for evaluation must be individual and original work. Where work or parts of work, from other sources is included in the project, acknowledgement and detail of the sources (REFERENCING) must be provided in the format prescribed in the TUT publication “Citation and Bibliographic Reference Guide”. Failure to do so can be viewed as plagiarism, for which, if found guilty, you can be expelled from all tertiary study in South Africa. This is especially relevant to projects done by electronic means. Where group projects are handed in for evaluation, the project must include a breakdown of the contribution ratio of the group. A consensual process must determine this ratio.

Design assignments are somewhat different. Although all reference to precedent must be properly acknowledged, students are encouraged to learn from their peers and precedent. It is therefore advisable to specifically refer to your sources of inspiration, as this will be a good indication of your ability to use precedent to inform your design This is a vitally important aspect of the deign process and students are requested and encouraged not to work on their own but rather to share all work with their peers as this process of criticism and learning from inputs received from all sources is the mark of a healthy design process. Unlike other assignments we therefore encourage you to copy, learn and borrow from all sources. A group dynamic, where quite a few of the assignment are similar, is a sign of a very healthy design process environment, or often called studio culture. It goes without saying that this must be a very analytical and acute, critical process. Students may NOT use electronic files of another student for subjects like Contract Documentation. This is regarded as fraudulent and dishonest behaviour and students found guilty of this will be severely disciplined, often with serious repercussions.

Academic calendar

The dates stipulated on the calendar of TUT apply only to semester courses and to other Departments that offer theoretical courses. Architectural training relies heavily on the acquiring and developing of skills, and not only on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge. To achieve a required level of proficiency in the realm of architecture, the single most important factor is productive time spent on the work. The degree courses in Architecture rely on programs that mostly run for the full year, and not on a semester basis as most other courses in The Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment [FEB]. This is the reason why we do not stop lectures for the winter recess with the rest of the University, who are then involved in writing exams.

Lectures continue until all academic activities of the Department cease for the mid-year recess. Although we try to schedule most projects for handing in before the recess commences, you are usually given an opportunity to hand in these projects during the first week of the next semester. In exceptional cases it might be expected of you to do projects during the recess period.

Publication of marks

All marks of assignments, tests, orals assessments and portfolio evaluations are published on the notice board. This means that the performance of each student will be publicly visible. This is to verify the accuracy of the mark allocation, and a cross reference to collate class lists and student marks. It assists students and lecturers to identify any mistakes or oversights from the lecturers’ side. Lecturer loads are intense, sometimes causing inadvertent errors. It is the responsibility of the student to draw attention to mistakes and discrepancies. Some students, (often the weaker ones), might resent this and feel that they are put at a disadvantage in public. Architecture is the most public of all arts. The public will not only be gazing at your designs, but they will physically be using and experiencing them; the good as well as the bad. It is therefore important that the student in architecture become used to the fact that whatever you do will be in the public eye and that we must work towards a situation where we will not be shamed by what we do.

This should, on the other hand, hopefully encourage students to improve their academic performance.

Saving electronic files

Staff often receive electronic files of drawings, essays, spreadsheets etc which are named doc 1 or just simply task. That of course is meaningless. All electronic files submitted as assignments, must have properly structured names done to the requirements of the Department. Firstly a succinct description eg: essay rural architecture or plans and sections church marabastad then the date the file was last saved e.g.: april 2000-rev nov 2008 and lastly the author e.g. : isaac lerumo We use only initials but it would be advisable for you the provide your name and surname. All three these elements must be separated with a dash and also note that no capitals should be used.

Firstly a succinct description eg:
essay rural architecture or plans and sections church marabastad
then the date the file was last saved e.g.:
april 2000-rev nov 2008
and lastly the author e.g. :
isaac lerumo

Here are two examples:
plans and section church marabastad-april 2010-john trengove
or
theory 3 essay rural arch-may 2010-rev june 2010-tsepo lemeke

Departmental lectures

Departmental lectures takes place in the Auditorium on Tuesdays at 13:00-14:00, as allocated on your time tables. This is the only opportunity we have where the whole school can meet on a regular (informal) basis to share both social and academic issues of interest, a place where we can share and learn. During these timeslots we have weekly announcements and the Executive Student Body (ESB) uses this opportunity to communicate with all the students in the Department, 1st years up to 6th years.

Specially prepared lectures / talks / discussions or sometimes videos on relevant topics, but usually focused on design are presented, often by guest lecturers, celebrities and specialists on invitation. These generally are by far the most polished lectures you will attend during your academic year. The content of the lectures is part of the curriculum and forms part of the Theory of Design and / or Construction Methods / Materials year programs. The lecturers have the authority to include any of these modules in the curriculum of any subject. It is therefore imperative that you attend these lectures.
It might happen that some weeks there will not be a Departmental lecture. Therefore you must consult the notice board.

We usually advertise these lectures with special notices like the one illustrated below.

email: labuschagnemm@tut.ac.za
tel: +27 12 382 5252
Staatsartillerie Road, Pretoria West, Building 11