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Spiritual Journeys: Religious Architecture in the Global South

Religious architecture has always had a unique power to transcend the physical realm, transporting visitors to a spiritual journey. In many belief systems, it serves as a space between the earthly and the universal divine. This designed experience can often be facilitated through different choices, where light, form, materiality, and circulation play essential roles. Furthermore, architecture and design hold the power to have a profound impact on one’s lived spiritual experience.

Rethinking the Roles of Small-Scale Informal Wood Industries in Tropical Africa

Tropical Africa boasts vast forests that cover 3.6 million square kilometers of land in West, East, and Central Africa. These forests provide valuable timber resources that significantly impact sectors, such as the furniture, fuel, and paper industries. However, interestingly, timber is seemingly absent in the contemporary architecture of the countries in this region. While architectural taste plays a role, the main reasons for this absence can be attributed to the wood industries' inability to meet the requirements of availability, affordability, aesthetic appeal, durability, and climatic and structural performance of timber. The wood industry in tropical Africa is mainly composed of informal and small-scale operations, focused primarily on sawing logs rather than refining wood for architectural or structural purposes. Despite this, the large number of informal enterprises in the region presents an opportunity to reshape the wood industry and utilize the local forestry resources to construct timber buildings.

London Design Biennale Opens with over 40 Exhibitors and Contributions from Foster + Partners, PLP and Hassell

London Design Biennale has opened on June 1st, 2023, at Somerset House, bringing together participants from around the world to celebrate new forms of international cooperation through design. The Biennale, now in its fourth edition, will display more than 40 installations focused on the theme ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations,’ chosen by this year’s Artistic Director, the Nieuwe Instituut, Instituut, led by Aric Chen. In addition to the national participants, the Eureka exhibition will showcase cross-disciplinary innovations from UK’s leading research centers.

Kampala on a Global Stage: Doreen Adengo’s Cross-Disciplinary Legacy

Doreen Adengo, Ugandan architect and trailblazer, passed away on July the 22nd of this year, after battling a long-term illness. She founded Adengo Architecture, a studio based out of her home city of Kampala. A designer who studied in the United States, worked in firms in New York, Washington, and London, and was teaching at Uganda Martyrs University – her legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. It is a legacy that spans disciplines and geographies – but a legacy, too, that is deeply rooted in the context of Africa, Uganda, and Kampala.

Doreen Adengo, Progressive Architect from Uganda and Founder of Adengo Architecture Passes Away

Doreen Adengo, architect from Kampala, Uganda has passed away, as reported by African Futures Institute’s Instagram Account, after a long battle with cancer. Founder of Adengo Architecture in 2015, a research-based multi-disciplinary practice operating out of her hometown Kampala, Doreen, a registered architect in the United States and Uganda, had earned her undergraduate at the Catholic University (Bachelor of Science in Architecture) and graduate studies at Yale (Masters of Architecture). She has taught at The New School and Pratt Institute in New York, the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture, and was currently teaching at Uganda Martyrs University. In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, Doreen Adengo was recognized by ArchDaily as one of the established practitioners implicated in change.

Crafting for Contemplation: The Minimal vs. The Ornamental

A few weeks ago, this year’s edition of the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. Designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, it’s an evocative project, its cylindrical form referencing American beehive kilns, English bottle kilns, and Musgum adobe homes found in Cameroon.

Improvisational Architectures: The High-Rise Scenario

Cities are growing, and they are growing upwards. This is far from just being a contemporary phenomenon of course – for more than a century, high-rises have been an integral part of urban settlements worldwide. This growing of cities encompasses a complex web of processes – advancements in transport links, urbanisation, and migration to mention a few. This growth of cities, however, is all too often linked with governmental failure to adequately support all facets of the urban population. Informal settlements are then born – people carving out spaces for themselves to live amidst a lack of state support.

"We Can Be Catalysts for Change": Designer Fauzia Khanani on Pioneering New Prototypes for the Future

Fauzia Khanani is no stranger to challenging the status quo. Working on a range of projects around the globe, from New York and Zurich to Budapest and Geneva, she continues to rethink the process of design across the built environment. Her firm, Studio For, is pioneering new prototypes for the future of work in a post pandemic era. At the same time, she's working on a number of pro-bono conceptual community-driven projects.

Iulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, Wins the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

Now in its fourteenth year, the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has been awarded to Iulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, for her project “Life Between Shelters: Refugee camps of today becoming cities of tomorrow”.

Kliment Halsband Architects on Its New Ugandan Surgical Facility

Ambulatory surgical procedures are routine in the U.S., but that’s not the case for most of the world. According to Dr. Michael Marin, head of surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, 5 billion people have no access to safe and affordable surgery procedures, a reality that in 2010 led to nearly 17 million deaths across the globe. In search of a new model for surgical facilities that could serve local communities—a model that would be independent and self-sustaining, outside of the context of large urban hospital complexes—Dr. Marin reached out to Kliment Halsband Architects in New York, a firm that had no experience in healthcare design. Recently I talked to firm principal Frances Halsband about how the project came about, and what she and her team learned in the process.