MODERN ARCHITECTURE IN AFRICA: the exploration and the question of modernity in architecture

The exploration, as an example of a research process, is my personal journey on how I came to frame research into the book ‘Modern Architecture in Africa’.  It follows -- perhaps not too conventionally -- the escape from the dungeons of Western Modernism at the TUDelft, via the practice as a missionary-cowboy-architect  in Africa, to reflections that formed the basis of the book.
It may seem a ‘do before we think’ process, but that is not altogether the case. The leading research question of ‘what is modernism in architecture’ has been the red thread in my work and thinking, still is the red thread today and probably will remain so until my demise. Possibly without being answered to satisfaction.  But that is not so much a problem.
This question accompanied me on the journey and will do remain so for the remainder of the road. It is of such strength that if continuously fuels my thinking and practice, and forces me to move. There is, of course, a reason behind this question, which is the driver of my professional career.
Organizing the thinking process, framing the research and finding answers also commenced at an early date on my journey, but were only seriously gaining momentum with the establishment of ArchiAfrika and the projects that followed. These projects can be seen as cases on how architectural research can be organized and carried out, without twenty-odd years of working until coming to retrospective insight as seems to have happened to me.


This next Wednesday February 22nd the arcbox lecture series will present the public lecture  ENGINEERS AND ARCHITECTS IN COLLABORATION.
presented by our Guest Silla Chow.

Silla Chow is a construction consultant working on school construction projects with the Rwanda Education Board.  She has over 20 years experience in the construction industry, working on various public and private sector projects.  She will share her experience of collaborating with architects as a structural engineer and as a project manager.

The lecture will take place next Wednesday February 22nd at 4.30 pm at FAED building.

PUBLIC LECTURE_Venezia: a city born from the water

Arcbox cultural committee is pleased to present to you Edoardo Salzano.

Former Professor in Urban and Regional Planning and Dean of the School of Urban, Regional and Environmental Planning at the University IUAV of Venice, he also worked as a planning consultant in many Italian local governments. Author and editor of several books, journal articles, he collaborated with newspapers and magazines, and funded two planning journals and an online journal. He is founder and director of, an Italian website concerning urban planning, society and political issues. Edoardo works, actively supports and provide technical assistance to a number of the progressive organisations and urban movements in Italy, but also participating to international forums.


Welcome to a SECRET CINEMA event.
Cities on Speed, GLOBAL VISIONS FOR an urban FUTURE is a documentary project commissioned by The Danish Film Institute and the national broadcaster DR . The project is a series of four films – Bogotà Change, Mumbai Disconnected, Cairo Garbage, Shanghai Space-, selected through a call for submissions, directed by four different filmmakers who tell character-based stories on four of the world’s largest megacities: Bogotá, Cairo, Mumbai and Shanghai.
Starting with 'Cairo Garbage' ,which looked at systemic disparties between the cities waste management plan and its increasing population, I will now screen the second , of the four movies, titled 'Mumbai Disconnected. This will be shown on 21st February at 8pm , at CINESTAR cinema in Nyamirambo. (Running time is 58 minutes).
'Like a city on steroids, Mumbai is rapidly becoming one of the world's biggest megacities. But it's all happening on a narrow peninsula with an infrastructure on the verge of complete collapse. Every day, 10-12 people die from falling off the overcrowded public trains. On the roads, cars come to a stand-still in serial traffic jams. To make matters worse, the Nano, India's new popular and affordable mini car, has just been launched. Through three interwoven human stories, we meet the people at the frontline of Mumbai's infrastructural battle. One thing is certain: urban planning is not easy in the world's largest democracy!' Danish Film Institute.
These films are in conjunction with KIST Urban Design Studio Year 4 and there will be a short introduction by tutor Killian Doherty. The future intention is that this film series relating to architecture and urban design will be screened to the public at KIST.
Entry is now 1500 RWF per person to subsidise free entry for the KIST Students. Your support is enabling these students exposure to resources not readily available at KIST and we thank you for your patronage.



It’s our pleasure to invite you to the public lecture: Bumbogo Toponymic Urbanism by Guillaume Sardin

Africa is currently building its Urban Culture, in a global context of clusterized cities, of insularized space.

Urbanism shouldn’t be just about numbers. Although Africa is currently strongly lacking infrastructures, its needs cannot always be quantified. Urbanism should reflect culture, history and create a sense of belonging.

What if, instead of importing Beaux Arts Urbanism, we tried to reinterpret the archipelago city to propose an enhanced and adapted version of it? A city made to separate and join at the same time, a city of islands, imagination and exploration.

In a country of oral culture, toponymy (the study of place names) could help bonding the new urban society to its roots. Cities can make use of the meaning of places, and toponymy could be a tool for urban development all over Africa.

Bumbogo is a hill located in Kigali, Rwanda. Kigali is a dormant archipelago city, full of potential.

Bumbogo will be a manifest, a pragmatic utopia. By using the meaning of Rwanda and Kigali as a matrix, this project generates an ultra site-specific masterplan setting an example of fair urbanism."

The lecture will take place on Friday Feb 03rd at 2:00pm, in KIST FAED building,KIST campus,1st floor classroom 2