Posted: 10 July 2020
GSA Files. Adam Osman. ST #10. © Fred Swart

Adam Osman
St #10

Adam is a candidate architect born and raised in Cape Town. He later moved to Johannesburg where he graduated from the University of Johannesburg, receiving a Masters with Distinction from Unit 14: Rogue Economies. His interests lie in how Johannesburg is shaped in dramatic ways by its economic practices, tactics and transactions. Following his masters degree, he held a position at Urban Works Architecture, whilst also tutoring within Unit 14. At present, he works for Counterspace Studio and is completing his second masters, as well as tutoring Unit 18: Hyperreal Prototypes. He also runs his own practice called Six Degree Architects.


Q: What was your time at the GSA like?
A: Incredible & awe-inspiring. 


Q: How has the GSA impacted your life?
A: I think the GSA has broadened my perspective of what architecture is and what it means to me personally. It encouraged me to pursue my interests and it pushed me out of my comfort zone, limits and boundaries. I think it was Plato who said that “…wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”, that was what my experience at the GSA felt like.


Q: How do you think the GSA is shifting the profession?
A: The GSA is innovative in its approach, it’s about being experimental and questioning everything, which allows it to be completely unpredictable (in a good way). It challenges the definition of architecture and its multiple perspectives in relation to the current economy, politics, and culture. 


Q: Did the GSA teach you to be an architect?
A: Yes, in many ways the GSA has taught me that I should never allow myself to be ordinary. It taught me that I should redefine architecture for myself especially in this new era we are currently in. It has taught me to develop my own language and means of representation to broaden my horizon and explore my interests. It has taught me to question the very notion of what architecture is and what architecture should be.


Q: What do you have to say to future applicants and the next generation of architects?
A: The GSA is one of those places that seems extremely intimidating for anyone who wishes to pursue their postgraduate qualification. However, it is also a place that will inspire you, it will stretch you to your limits, it will stretch your imagination and take you to places you often don’t expect to be. Ultimately it will be the best decision you ever make. 


Q: How do you describe the movement we are creating at the school?
A: Innovative & experimental.


Q: Describe the GSA in one word / one sentence.
A: EXTRAORDINARY / The GSA has a way of bringing out the best of its students.


Q: Which staff member made an impact on your life at the GSA.
A: For me, there were two, Lesley Lokko who has served as an inspiration for the entire school. And Sarah De Villiers, who constantly motivated me and guided me through my thesis.


Adam Osman- Unit 14 Alumni, 2018. Photo: © Tonia Murray. Graphic Design: © DieAteljee

GSA Files is an initiative that tracks our past students, staff and critics, in an ongoing, live archive of works and networks. View more records on our GSA Files tab on our website: