About the Caribbean School of Architecture

The Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology, Jamaica is a unique school established in 1988 to provide for the education of architects for the English –speaking territories of the Caribbean.   The courses of study, a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and the Master of Architecture degrees, (equivalent to RIBA Part 1 and Part 2) are validated internationally by the Commonwealth Association of Architects and accredited by The University Council of Jamaica.

The network of Small Island Developing States includes the archipelago of Caribbean territories. Here, aspects of size and proximity designate the Sea and issues of climate, landscape, low and high resource, vulnerable settlement as well as varied histories and cultures as Geo-Sites for interrogating Architecture.

Independent Caribbean territories share common imperatives of sustaining ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources, reduction of energy consumption-CO2 production and the design of resilient strategies to improve the lives and livelihoods of island communities.

The Design Studios at CSA are led by lecturing teams who research and explore the connections between environmental, social and economic exigencies of such Sites with projects forged through partnerships in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean.

Through Action Research our students develop ways of seeing and understanding the world with hands-on experience, constructing and valuing decisions from the tropical experience.  Theoretical, environmental, technological, digital and practice management competencies of the curriculum are integrated through formal lectures, seminars, workshops, laboratory tutorials, site visits and field trips.

Regional and Extra-Regional Urban Study travels provide cultural immersion studies of cities and towns, drawing corollaries with histories of diversity. The Study Tour programme, a core component of the Design Studio, connects academia and practice in a live setting through fieldwork, charrettes and architecture interventions in the place of study.  With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote urban studies have enhanced the way the quality of place can be perceived, conceived and lived.

CSA is a hub for research on towns and cities of the Caribbean as we continue to increase our database with Architecture of the region. The Association of Commonwealth Societies of Architects member states, Architects and Schools of Architecture in Latin America and Francophone territories mediate travel and exchanges.

The CSA receives support from our Alumni Association, former and current students who are building a global community of CSA architects. Our students receive continued scholarship support from PANJAM Investment Ltd., Gore Brothers Ltd., Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce: Gordon Gill Architectural Scholarship, Colin Laird Travel Grant and the Ministry of Education, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Internships are supported by The Urban Development Corporation of Jamaica, The Jamaican Institute of Architects and members of the Association of Commonwealth Societies of Architects in the Caribbean.

Arch Jacquiann T Lawton
Head of School, Caribbean School of Architecture
January 2023