AMIRA OMER SIDDIG OSMAN is a Sudanese/South African architect/lecturer/researcher. She is currently an associate professor in architecture at the University of Johannesburg. Amira is leading an NRF/UJ funded research project titled “Harnessing innovation in the service of sustainable human settlements: continued explorations into the 4th dimension in design and technical decision-making in the South African residential sector”. Amira is also the coordinator of UJ’s research and academic UNIT 2 “Architecture and Agency: DESIGN | MAKE | TRANSFORM”.
Amira believes that the architectural profession has a critical role to play in the achievement of human settlements that are more equitable, more beautiful and more functional – human settlements that increase opportunities, offering people a better chance at improving their lives and livelihoods. The belief that the profession has the potential to offer both technical and social expertise towards these aims is the driving force behind Amira’s research projects and in her professional roles.
Amira has collaborated with various partners on research for various agencies and is a rated researcher with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). Amira has presented numerous lectures, workshops and courses and is a member of several national and international boards. She has also served on numerous scientific committees and competition juries. Her research focus areas are housing and human settlements, Open Building, informal settlements and government-subsidised social rental housing. She also served as the General Reporter and head of the scientific committee for the UIA 2014 Durban international Congress.
Amira has previously worked as a Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria. She studied at the University of Khartoum in Sudan in 1988 (B.Sc.) and 1996 (M.Sc.). In between the two she also studied at the Institute for Housing Studies in Rotterdam (IHS) in 1992 where she obtained a post-graduate diploma. She completed her PhD in Architecture at the University of Pretoria in 2004. Amira taught at a number of institutions institutions for about 25 years, over 11 years of those at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She also worked as an architect in Khartoum during the period 1988-1997 and as a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) in Maseru, Lesotho 1997-1998. She practiced as an architect in the Sudan and has participated in a number of projects in South Africa including a hostel upgrade and designs for social housing in Pretoria.