News » DSG Architect Alumna, Ruth Nelson (Class of 2009), Builds a Bright Future

Ruth Nelson matriculated from DSG in 2009, going on to achieve both a Bachelor's Degree and a Master’s Degree in Architecture. She wrote her Architectural Board Exams in 2017, whilst working at Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects (SAOTA) in Cape Town. In 2018, she was awarded a fully funded scholarship to complete a second Master’s degree, an MRes. in Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, which has recently been ranked the top institution in the world for architecture. Ruth attained her MRes. with Distinction and has a passion for urban and architectural development and research within the Global South. Her current research examines the relationship between demographic racial integration and urban configuration in South African cities with a specific emphasis on emergent mobility and spatial systems.


Ruth states, “What I valued most about my time at DSG is that it instilled within me a belief and vision that there was a much larger and greater world out there, beyond my everyday life in Grahamstown that I was working towards. Furthermore, it reinforced and instilled a quality within me, which I refer to quite simply as, grit. Dr Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychologist in the United States who has written a great deal on the subject, defines grit as “Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day-in and day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future reality. Grit is living life like it is a marathon, not a sprint.” “