African architecture has to deal with the environment, lifestyles and richness of its country. The African Design Center, based in Kigali, Rwanda, wants to train, with its fellowships, the designers who will need to project, design and build tomorrow’s cities. Depending on what the website says in 2050 the African population will double; there will be a need for many private and public buildings to meet the demand. However, there are not enough professionals in this field, and precisely from this need arises the will to set up these scholarships.
During these two years students will have to deal with some of the most pressing issues on the continent, including urbanization, climate change and sociality.
Architects, designers, urbanists, thinking about their works must make reference to the context in which they will arise. This is true in every part of the world, but it becomes more important in places where poverty, the scarcity of raw materials and the desire to create buildings perfectly incorporated into the landscape impose serious constraints on manufacturers.
This can be seen as a disadvantage, but as one sees in some wonderful African buildings the need to use poor materials makes not only the buildings aesthetichally pleasant but also allows to build sustainable, clean buildings, in line with the landscape, creating a kind of continuity with the environment they belong to.
The cathedral on the edge of a tea plantation in Kenya built by John McAslan and Partners and Triad Architects
Even in the most metropolitan contexts, the works of brilliant African architects have a touch of vitality far from the cold and white buildings that we find especially in Europe, using colors and light in a lively manner.
Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation’s headquarters in Libreville in Gabon built by David Adjaye
The new ideas of young African architects and designers will be very important to the land they live in, not only in view of the demographic rise but also of the climate change that is affecting the entire planet. This is why the whole world will have to take an example of their way of understanding architecture, at the service of man and of the environment.
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