We are shaped by our context and histories. However, we also and critically shape our context and history to influence the future. While this appears so obvious, it took my leaving Kenya to study and work in the US, to discover my own deep-seated biases and discriminations that had influenced my design thinking. This lecture will reflect on how sketching can be utilised as a tool for introspection, with specific regard to breaking down deep-seated biases that are the basis for institutional discrimination. Through my sketches and the work of KDI I will explore the potential of Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Urban Design to shape our context and drive a more equitable future, in Kenyan Urban Space. Arthur is primarily driven by a passion for sketching, and especially urban sketching from life. He uses this passion to capture the invisible social cultural building blocks of Nairobi’s Urban Structure. The lessons learnt have helped him navigate the three extremes in his professional life. Working with a large corporate real estate developer, Centum RE, where he drives the planning and design of their affordable housing projects, supporting the transformation of unsafe and under-used sites into “Productive public spaces” with KDI and teaching a Landscape Engineering Studio at JKUAT.
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