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Noëleen Murray is an architect and academic, She holds the Research Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Pretoria.


Qualifications: Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS), Batchelor of Architecture (B. Arch), Master of Architecture (M.Arch), Doctorate (PhD), University of Cape Town.

She joined Design Matters Architects in 1995. Her practice is in design teams and in relation to heritage practice, environmental planning and research. She has taught variously in the Schools of Architecture and Planning and the Centre for African Studies at the Universities of Cape Town, the Western Cape, the Witwatersrand and the University of Pretoria. She regularly acts as a reviewer and external examiner and has been the recipient of international awards. She has published and travelled widely.

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Professional Architect (SACAP No: 24714905).


Qualifications: Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS), Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch), University of Cape Town

Gregory Mann is a professionally registered architect with 27 years of experience.

Gregory started collaboration on projects with Design Matters in 2013 and has since become one of the principal architects. Previously he worked in Paris, Vienna, London and in association with other local practices ranging from heritage specialists to small commercial firms. His core experience however lies in bespoke construction for private clients.

Graduating at a time when little formal work was available he forged a relationship with Elmo Strydom Construction and developed the skills to not only design but also project manage and construct buildings to a high level of craftsmanship. These hands-on skills now combine with a deep interest and concern for making places for people and the power of design and architecture to improve and change lives.

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142 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town


Professional Architect (SACAP No: 6622).

Qualifications: Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS), Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch), University of Cape Town

Matthew Cooke is a professionally registered architect with 28 years of experience. Architecture is a very familiar field to Matthew who grew up surrounded by architects, both in practice and in academia. Having travelled widely, combining his love of mountains and architecture, and having experienced many of the world’s best buildings and worked in the UK he was one of the founding partners of Design Matters in 1993.

His approach to design reflects this in-depth understanding of architecture and the making of buildings across a range of scales from domestic to urban and commercial projects.

Design Matters is a studio for architecture, urbanism, design, and research, founded in Cape Town South Africa in 1993. With a flexible collective of professional affiliates, the studio is integrated and sustainable, diverse and people-centred.  Our practice provides a range of professional services including: professional architectural services, heritage assessment and research, development planning, landscape and urban design, interior architecture, sustainability planning and financial appraisals. With a strong integrated ethos across practice and research the studio is regularly involved in creative project-based work, research and design of exhibitions and publications, and increasingly in digital and new media projects.

We provide high-quality personal service and attention to detail in all stages of the design process, from concept to completion.


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