At a critical moment in the history of South Africa, architecture can play an important part in redressing the problems inherited from the past and in reflecting the paradigms and changing value systems of a transforming society. This critical study provides ideas about new directions in South African architecture, about how new approaches to design may provide fresh opportunities for relevance and about how the new collection of problems which the architect faces embodies a multiplicity of learning possibilities. Of particular relevance is the whole issue of 'African' and learning from the rich and numerous legacies which make up the South African architectural landscape and the spatial patterns of daily life. Thus 'Africanisation' is considered, not as an image-making process, but as an opportunity to engage with African philosophical ideas where the textures and senses of history become points of departure. The study deals with the important questions surrounding relevance; of how architecture may become socially appropriate and empowering through the creation of structures which serve communities rather than architects; of how community participation may assist with focussing on specific needs and local requirements and of how budget constraints may be used to develop opportunities for creative and resourceful responses. In this sense the title is not intended to be a do-it-yourself manual or to propagate a new style or ready-made formulas. A relevant architecture is considered as emphasising architecture as a process in dialogue with scarce resources, and in tune with the possibilities and exigencies of the environment, whether social or physical. This 'dialogue', in turn involves appropriate technology and humanising aesthetic arrangements. Particularly challenging to architectural design are the issues of cultural relevance and of the preservation and enhancement of traditional skills. If architects need to change the ways and broaden the opportunities with which they respond to their surrounding environment then their roles and education will also need to change. This study is therefore intended to contribute to a conscious transformation of South African architecture.