Prof Paul Makasa

Department of Architecture
041 504 4220
South Campus, Room 317

Biography / Background

Paul Makasa is a Professor of Architecture at Nelson Mandela University, in South Africa. He obtained his PhD from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, a Master’s in Housing Policies for Developing Nations, from Alvar Aalto University in Finland and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Zambia. He also holds a P.G. Certificate in Research Methods for Development from the Institute for Social Studies in the Hague.

PhD, (TUDelft, the Netherlands), M. Arch (Helsinki, Finland); B. Arch (UNZA), PG Dipl (Poverty Alleviation, IHS-Rotterdam, the Netherlands); PG Cert HDM (Lund-Sweden), PG Cert (Research Methods for Development, ISS-the Hague); PG Cert OSHH (San Jose, Costa Rica).

Professional Activities
Is a member of the Zambia Institute of Architects, and a student member of the SACAP. I am also a member of 4 research networks: the GRUPHEL – Gender Research network on Urbanisation, Planning, Housing and Everyday Life. Administered from the National University of Lesotho (NUL), sponsored by the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA); the ALPHA-IBIS - network involving European, South American and African researchers, administered from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; the ENHR, the European Network of Housing Researchers; and, the ANHR: the African Network of Housing Researchers.

Teaching Interests

I keep in mind that my students are the future managers of the built environment and are expected to gain critical skill sets pertaining to understanding and ameliorating mankind’s impacts on the built environment and on communities and their natural environments at regional, national and global levels. I, therefore, strive to offer them architectural design approaches underpinned by architectural theory, construction technology, and history against a backdrop of housing, urban, and landscape studies. To achieve this, I adopt a scholarly approach to teaching that is determined by my research into environments fostering the emergence of new ideas and solutions. My teaching is globally driven but locally rooted as it focusses on new untested and innovative approaches. I believe in encouraging dialogue between students and myself to foster their synergies considering that in the industry they will be the team leaders. In the studios, I always like to use real-life scenarios to instill a real-life performative approach to architectural design, and the outputs always reflect real-life situations. This way I believe that Architectural education reflects its essence of being a performance creative art where ideas and strategic approaches are developed by the student, not given by myself. I encourage students to engage with probing insights into the science and art of architecture, favouring new innovative ideas and creative problem-solving techniques over the delivery of preconceived and already existing solutions. In research, I teach my students practical approaches that enable them to establish individual strategic approaches inspiring them to always probe deeper.

Research Interests

My research interests include: architecture; low cost housing policies development and management; poverty alleviation; urbanism; and gender issues.


I have been supervising an average of 3 M. Arch (Prof) students per year in the School of Architecture since 2014;
Co-supervised (with Prof W.N. Shakantu), Mosa Tsosane, completed Master’s Study on Innovative Construction Methods to address Housing Demand
Co-supervising (with Prof S.J. Mbanga), KZ Cakata’s PhD on Sustainable Spatial Planning of Human Settlements in Post-apartheid. South Africa: the Case of Buffalo City.
Co-supervising (with Prof S.J. Mbanga), Qhamani Neza Tshazi’ s PhD on Reconciling a Post-Apartheid Pro-Poor Housing Delivery Model in South Africa: A Case Study of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
Co-supervising (with Prof S.J. Mbanga), Dumisani Nkanyiso Qwabe’s Master’s on Factors that Influence the Upgrading of Informal Settlements in South Africa: A Case of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole

Representative Publications

I have so far published the following inter alia:
Books :The 1996 Zambia National Housing Policy: PhD thesis published as a book IOS Press ISBN978-1-60750566-2.
Housing Economics and Policies in Zambia (ISBN 978-0-620-81640-3, self-funded research and published in 2019.
Zambia’s Urban Areas: manuscript ready for publication (before end of 2020)
Book Chapters: The 1996 National Housing Policy: A Fruitless March Towards Adequate Shelter for All by the Year 2010. Iin Grundstrom & Wong-Jere, Shelter for the Urban Poor. Proposals for improvements-Inspired by the World Urban Forum (WUF) III. A culmination of the WUF III Conference in Vancouver Canada, 18-26 June, 2006, pp 283-293. ISBN 978-91-87866-29-6
Lusaka: In Planning Through Projects: moving from Master Planning to Strategic Planning. Alpha-Ibis Research Network. Delft University of Technology. ISBN 978-90-8594-023-4
An Overview of the Impact of Globalisation on the Construction Industry in Zambia. A book chapter in M.I Carmona & M.D Schoonraad (eds) Globalisation, Urban Form & Governance. Alpha-Ibis Research Network. Delft University of Technology, pp 243-260. ISBN 90-407-2570-5
Negotiating Space and Resources in Polygamous families in Zambia. A book chapter in Kalabamu, F., et al (2005) Gender Generation and Urban Living conditions in Southern Africa by the Gender Research on Urbanisation, Planning, Housing and Everyday Living (GRUPHEL), Sweden and ISAS-NUL Lesotho 2003-5 ISAS 2005 , pp 111-130 ISBN 99911-31-41-8
Study Manuals
A teaching manual on Preventive maintenance for the African Development Bank Sponsored Course at the Copperbelt University for Zambia’s Teachers; and,
A teaching manual on Organising Self-help Squatter upgrading: the Case of Chipata Compound in Kitwe: the University of Costa Rica, San Jose. Done in conjunction with HDM- LUND and FUPROVI, sponsored by SIDA, Sweden.