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Dr Philippa Tumubweinee is both an architect and an academic: she’s a senior lecturer at the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town and a doctoral candidate at the Department of Higher Education Studies. She tells GH writer Ondela Mlandu how she’s using her imagination in the architectural space.

Thoughts on “job titles”

“The significance of a job title is not about what we do professionally and/or in business; rather, it’s about how professionally and in business we serve to enrich humanity,” she says. She says both jobs are relatively easy “job” titles to define. “Architects design some of the buildings that we inhabit and academics, through teaching and research, are at the coal face of knowledge production and acquisition,” she adds.

How to get into architecture

Dr Philippa works at the University of Cape Town. “I would suggest having a look at the Engineering and Built Environment website, specifically the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics.

“It’s easier to get into architecture than you could 50 years ago!” she says. The traditional architect route would be to enrol at an architectural learning site – that’s a fancy word for a School of Architecture – and obtain the qualifications that would allow you to practice and/or teach.

“I get tense when people ask about why there are no women in the construction/built environment sector. My response is always: acknowledge the ones who are already in the industry and maybe, just maybe, you might see them,” she says.

READ MORE: A Horticulturist Talks How To Turn Your Passion Into A Career

Is Imposter Syndrome real to you?

“Not anymore. I’ve learnt that I don’t have to be perfect or the best to be a success. I only need to choose to become someone who aims to enrich the humanity that allows me to be,” she says.

Room for growth…

Dr Tumubweinee believes there is still room for growth/change when it comes to the ease at which women work and operate in the construction or built environment sector. “One cannot ignore the strides that have been made towards changing the sector. These strides have been taken and enforced by some incredible and phenomenal women and men,” she says.

A must read for Gen Z and millennials?

Listen to this audio book by Stephen Covey: “Live Out Of Your Imagination, Not Your History.”

What does self-care mean to you?

“Tina Turner and red wine… No, seriously, I laugh, but I love to laugh. It soothes my soul.”

Connect with architect Dr Tumubweinee…

“I don’t have any social media handles, but my email address is on the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics (APG) website: [email protected]

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