The home is a fundamental expression of architectural movements within the fabric of a city. As one of the smallest typologies, it is the simplest canvas to exhibit the design ethos of any particular era. African cities have continuously negotiated the meaning of their residential dwellings, from traditional architecture to colonial architecture, and the influx of post-colonial modern architecture. Vernacular architecture explored homes with spatial patterns rooted in cultural dexterity, envelopes built with indigenous materials and forms, endowed with traditional motifs. These were in stark contrast to colonial homes that featured a range of imported architectural styles across the continent, neglecting their climatic and cultural contexts while amplifying social class.
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Amman, Bogota, and Freetown Among the 15 Winning Cities of the 2021 Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Mayors Challenge
Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the 15 winning innovations of its 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge. Hailing from six continents, the chosen projects "seek improvements in the areas of economic recovery and inclusive growth, health and well-being, climate and environment, and gender and equality". The winning cities include Istanbul, Rotterdam, Butuan, and Wellington, and will all receive $1 million and external support to develop their programs.
The ongoing pandemic has been a disruption to the everyday routines of billions around the world, as due to being confined to their households, the separation between work and rest has become extremely blurry, with people forced to rethink and reconfigure the layout of their personal spaces. Conversations have abounded on how to create flexible working spaces in a home environment, and if offices themselves are an outdated model that we should leave behind. A missing part of that conversation, however, is the impact that the pandemic has had on children, specifically primary-school level children, on their education - as inequalities are emphasized, some children learning with slow internet connection speeds, or struggling to have the space required to adequately complete educational activities.
“Successful, vibrant, happy cities arise out of the visions of many, not the powerful few.” - Jane Jacobs.
As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.