Design Space Africa
Luyanda is a Cape Town based Architect /Urban Design practitioner
and commentator on various design and socially relevant matters
regarding the urban condition of African Cities. He obtained his
Master’s in Architecture at the Technical University of Berlin, he is the
Director of Luyanda Mpahlwa DesignSpaceAfrica, an Architecture and
Design firm he founded in 2009. Until then he was a partner at MMA
Architects for 12 years. His education in South Africa was interrupted
when he was incarcerated on Robben Island Prison in 1981 for his
role in the anti-apartheid struggle. After his release in 1986, he left for
Germany, where he spent 15 years in exile.
Luyanda was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science and
Technology from the Walter Sisulu University in 2010 for his
contribution to innovative design and technology. Currently he is an
Adjunct Professor at the UCT, African Centre for Cities for the next 5
years. He sist on the Deans Advisory Council for the Faculty of
Engineering & the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town.
Since 2021, he has been a Guest Lecturer in the DAAD sponsored
Museums Lab Programme, a platform for dialogue between German
and African Museums.
He has received various design Awards, including SAIA/Coro Brik
Award of Excellence in 2006 for the South African Embassy building in
Berlin, Germany. He was the recipient of USA based Curry Stone
Design Prize in 2008 for the Design Indaba Sandbag Low Cost House
in Mitchells Plein, Cape Town in 2010. He was part of the technical
team of advisors for the construction of the 2010 World Cup Stadia in
He is currently serving in various Boards & Councils, including the
South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), and the South
African Institute of Architects (SAIA). He is SAIA Past President 2018 –
2020. He represented SAIA at the AUA Congress in Mauritius in 2018
as incoming President.
He is a member of SACAP (South African Institute for the Architectural
Profession) and UDISA, Urban Design Institute of South Africa).