Tomà Berlanda is an architect and scholar with extensive international academic and professional experience. Since April 2015, he has been Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town (UCT), the institution where he was Director until the end of 2018. His research interests focus on the implications that can be drawn from a non-stereotypical reading of the African city and the practice of architecture in non-Western urban settings and landscapes. These interests follow his position as co-founder of asa studio in Kigali (2012-2014), where he led a socially engaged practice in an extensive design and build campaign that provided community-based early childhood and health facilities across Rwanda. The award-winning work, which was recently recognised with the Curry Stone Social Design Impact Circle (2017), has been published widely and included in the Afritecture: Building Social Change (2013) and Africa: Architecture, Culture and identity (2015) exhibitions.
He has held teaching positions at various other institutions, including Syracuse University (2009-2010), Cornell University (2012) and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (2011-2013). He holds a Diploma in architecture from the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland (2002) and a Ph.D in Architecture and Building design from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy (2009). He is the author of a number of articles and chapters in international publications, including “Architectural Topographies” (Routledge, 2014), and, together with K. H. Smith, “Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda. Architectural Inquiries and Prospects for a Developing African City” (University of Arkansas Press, 2018).