Fulbright scholar Don Albert returned to South Africa in 1999, after two years in Los Angeles completing his Masters in Architecture (Urban Design) at the University of California, and another year as design associate at the office of AIA Gold Medalist Barton Myers, Beverly Hills.
During his Masters degree at UCLA, under the professorship of Barton Myers and Marcos Novak, Albert researched pressing social and aesthetic issues concerning the emergence of large-scale developments for emerging creative and information-age industries. To this end, Albert conducted research in Malaysia, Europe, South Africa and the United States, and developed new strategies for emerging work and living environments based on typological, diagrammatic and computer-generated models that could be modified by place-specific inputs. The result: a master-planned counterproposal for Malaysia's premier techno-city, Cyberjaya.
In 1998 Albert joined master architect Barton Myers as Associate in Charge of Design for the adaptive re-use of two significant Beverly Hills landmarks – 8601 Wilshire Boulevard and 421 South Beverly Drive. The renovation of these 1960s-era office buildings represented a growing trend in Los Angeles and South Africa, as it became more and more economically advantageous to convert existing building stock in prime areas.
Prior to working at Barton Myers Associates, Albert founded his own architectural design firm, soundspacedesign architects and urban designers, which conceived Barrows, an 10 000m² Point of Purchase design and manufacturing facility in Durban. This winning limited competition entry was submitted and realised from Los Angeles via the internet, an innovation of the time, and heralded a new mode of "integrated" non-hierarchical work space for post-apartheid industry that became an accepted norm.
Since returning to South Africa, Albert has steered soundspacedesign through a number of internationally published projects, including the winning design for the Millennium Tower in Durban, the highperformancentre at the University of Pretoria, and the Proud Heritage Clothing Campus in Durban.
In 2003, Albert relocated soundspacedesign to Cape Town, which in conjunction with the Durban branch office employs five registered architects providing service throughout South Africa.
In addition to his professional commitments, Albert presents an annual five-week design studio on Digital Design Methodology to third year students at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town, and has participated in a number of international competitions, including Freedom Park Pretoria; the Freedom Statue, Port Elizabeth; The Great Egyptian Museum, Cairo; and the Osaka Northern Station Precinct, Japan.
In 2010, Don relocated his primary residence to Bali, Indonesia, and opened the new headquarters of Don Albert & Partners in Singapore.
Don Albert & Partners are currently engaged in a $800-million tourism project in India, and in high-end residential, cultural hospitality projects in South Africa and Indonesia.