African Design Centre fellowship programme to open in September

Based in Kigali, the African Design Centre has launched a 2-yr fellowship programme to train the creative leaders who will design a more sustainable Africa.
"What makes me happy is that people in this neighbourhood tell me I have done something beautiful here. I will build my house with this stone." Master Mason Hakiza Emmanuel worked on the volcanic stone facades of the Butaro Hospital, Rwanda
"What makes me happy is that people in this neighbourhood tell me I have done something beautiful here. I will build my house with this stone." Master Mason Hakiza Emmanuel worked on the volcanic stone facades of the Butaro Hospital, Rwanda

Based in Kigali, Rwanda, the African Design Centre (ADC) has launched a 2-year fellowship programme to train and empower the creative leaders who will design a more equitable, just, and sustainable Africa. 

The core of the programme is an immersive design-build project, beginning with work on primary schools in East Africa, where fellows learn the ADC that includes community engagement, design, construction, and evaluation. This is paired with classroom-based curriculum and research in emerging issues such as urbanisation, affordable housing, and climate change. ADC fellows will graduate with the training and hands-on experience required to execute social impact-driven solutions to the continent’s most pressing challenges.

It is not what design does that matter, it is the harm caused by the absence of good design. Who builds and how we build matters now more than it has ever been. ­– Christian Benimana

By 2050 the continent’s population will have doubled and be concentrated in rapidly growing urban centres. To meet the needs of this population 85 000 clinics, 310 000 primary schools, and over 700 million units of housing will need to be built. Today there is a lack of trained professionals who can plan, design and build sustainable, high-performing infrastructure; by comparison the United States has 75 times as many architects per capita as exists in East Africa (1 per 2 000 vs. 1 per 130 000).  

This programme is open to recent university graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in a design-related field, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, engineering, or industrial design. Fellows must be strongly committed to changing the African built environment. The school is committed to recruiting the very best candidates, and a fellow’s ability to pay tuition is not a factor in admissions decisions. Scholarships and other financial aid is available to ensure every admitted fellow can attend regardless of their background.

Fellows will also engage in research into affordable materials that will supplement their projects. In future years, the ADC fellows themselves will participate in a Design-Build project to develop a ADC campus in Kigali, Rwanda, with classrooms, lecture space, workshops and a community hub. 

Candidates are invited to apply online at africandesigncentre.org until 15 June 2016. Classes for the two-year programme will begin 5 September 2016.

Watch the Talk with Christian Benimana