This paper investigates how staff and students perceive housing at the Department of Architecture, Landscape and Interior Architecture, University of Pretoria, South Africa. The Department’s reputation is that of a strong design-oriented school, producing technically proficient graduates.This characteristic is possibly a reason why housing issues tend to be neglected. Slow developments in the fields of housing and socially responsible architecture within the Department could be attributed to its location in a conservative educational institution still adapting cautiously to the changing socio-political scene. The predominantly white middle-class staff and student profile plays a role in the apparent disinterest in community-oriented projects. Housing landscapes in South Africa evolved into sterile, regimented and inefficient settlement patterns.Understandably, designers distanced themselves from such ugliness. Inner city areas and the notorious black townships are ‘no-go’ zones as the legacy of apartheid continues to filter through in the democratic era.Segregation is still evident. Students’ responses to housing have proved to be very restricted to the typical ‘matchbox’ house, whose image influences many of their design endeavours- even if stacked into a high-rise concrete frame, attached to older buildings or filling in the spaces between existing buildings in the city. This paper considers ways of arousing interest in housing in the above context and within the Department’s ethos. Educational approaches appropriate for housing design will be covered and design methodology will be established as a vital area in theory where design tools for housing projects can be developed. Knowledge of a broader range of design methods is seen to increase the search area for appropriate solutions, thus rendering the architect’s role more innovative and effective in housing processes. Through a methodical approach to design issues, it is believed that future architects will be more able to answer to contextual needs without compromising the high standard of design expected by the Department.