TOWARDS AN INTERCULTURAL COLLABORATION FOR THE FUTURE ARCHITECTURE OF UGANDA REBECCA NIXON 110215378
BA Architecture Special Study University of Sheffield April 2014
I would firstly like to thank Lucy Jones for her supportive criticism and guidance in creating this study and for providing me with confidence throughout the project. I would like to thank Dr. Stephen Mukiibi and Assumpta Nagenda-Musana for having the faith and trust in me to lead workshops with their architecture students and for integrating the workshops into the students internship training. I would like to thank the students who participated in the workshops with enthusiasm and commitment and who welcomed me into their University. I would also like to thank West Yorkshire Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects, UK Chapter in believing in the value of my research and enabling the study to take place through their financial support.
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE WORKSHOPS
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 To Understand Ugandan Architectural Identity 2.1.1
What are the effects of colonialism on Ugandan architectural identity?
What are the effects of globalism and globalisation on Ugandan architectural identity?
Can a unified architectural identity exist?
2.2 To Understand What an ‘Appropriate’ Architecture for Uganda is 2.2.1
What are the limitations of culture and place in forming an appropriate architecture for Uganda? Perceptions of the West
What are the needs for future adaptation? Perceptions from Uganda
What factors determine the formation of a ‘hybrid’ architecture?
2.3 To Understand What Methods Can Facilitate Collaboration in the Ambition for a Holistic Architectural Agenda 2.3.1
How can a ‘common ground’ for intercultural communication be established?
How can intercultural models of collaborative design be encouraged and realised? Perspectives from the West
How can intercultural models of collaborative design be encouraged and realised? Perspectives from Uganda
3.1 Research model: ‘Knowledge Exchange Workshops’
3.2 Action Research
3.3 Research Ethics
4. DATA + ANALYSIS 4.1 Addressing Architectural Identity in Uganda
4.2 Addressing an Appropriate Architecture for
4.3 Addressing Methods to Facilitate Intercultural Collaboration in Uganda
5. CONCLUSION: A Considered and Extended Collaborative Exchange
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ABSTRACT This study aims to critically address the role of the Westerner* and the Ugandan in the future architecture of Uganda through an analysis of Ugandaâ€™s historical architectural identity alongside a series of knowledge exchange workshops led with architecture students at Makerere University in Uganda. Drawing on my past experience in Uganda and previous research, I aim to create a rich narrative supported by a portfolio of case studies, which is then questioned and evaluated through a series of workshops with Ugandan architecture students. The workshops not only provide an insight into the perception of a selected group of current Ugandan architecture students on but also provide the opportunity for an examination of architectural collaboration in the form of the interaction between the students and myself. The workshops undertaken represent a proposed model on a small scale to aid the future of collaborative architecture amongst a variety of different stakeholders.
action research community and remember that my behaviour could potentially emphasise, confirm or refute the stereotype of a western female student in Uganda. In writing this report I also hope to provide a perceptive insight of an architecture and country that is often viewed at its surface value and aim to add value to the modern literature available on not only Ugandan architecture but African architecture, that I feel at present is somewhat limited.
This report represents a highly personal viewpoint and throughout this report I endeavour to challenge my own personal bias but also to use this personal endeavour/ attachment I have in regard to this topic, to enhance the validity and trustworthiness of the research. I have aimed to justify methods and critically analyse my position within this research in accordance with the context but also within the action research model. *
In undertaking this research I also acknowledge that I am part of the global
The definition of the term Westerner is complex; in this study I will take â€˜Westernerâ€™ objectively to represent non-African stakeholders.
TOWARDS AN INTERCULTURAL COLLABORATION FOR THE FUTURE ARCHITECTURE OF UGANDA
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
1.INTRODUCTION I developed an interest in humanitarian design whilst living and teaching in Kagoma, a rural village in Uganda from September 2010 – August 2011. During my 1st year at University I began to realise that my understanding of Ugandan culture had enabled me to learn about my own culture and began to see the benefits of this knowledge in incorporating cultural context in the creation of appropriate architectural design. When in Mubende, I lived and taught at St Zoe Secondary and Vocational School, Kagoma, which is sponsored by Manchester based charity, Helping Uganda Schools (HUGS). My involvement and communications with both HUGS and the users of the school enabled me to experience and understand a variety of difficulties surrounding building in a culture alien from your own and the issues that were generated through cultural differences and communications across continents. As I became increasingly aware that I am part of a generation that is trained to be socially aware, and learning within a socially driven architecture school I began to develop an interest and heightened awareness in socially driven architecture projects especially those under the umbrella of ‘humanitarian design’, ‘public interest design’, ‘architecture of social engagement’ and ‘community participation’ projects. These types of projects all share a similar aim to ‘do good’ for people perceived as less fortunate than themselves. This interest led me back to Uganda and after my
first year of University I wrote a research proposal and was awarded the Bedford Travel Scholarship in May, 2012 from the West Yorkshire Society of Architects (WYSA), providing me with £1000 to conduct research:
‘Evaluating the Appropriateness and Success of the Approaches to Sustainable Architecture by Western Bodies in Uganda’
I identified and visited a range of projects across rural Uganda; assessing the projects in comparison with the information presented online and through interviewing the users of the projects (Figure 1.2). The results I found were varied and I was left questioning the disparity between the intention and outcome of humanitarian design (by Western bodies). The lack of transferable skills and communication across cultures often resulted in innovative technologies and techniques not being realised fully or lacking in a durable impact. It became apparent that there was unlimited enthusiasm but a distinct absence of collaborative approaches that I felt would improve the success and relevance of these projects.
PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH AT WYSA
INITIAL RURAL CASE STUDIES SKETCH BOOK
RUKUNGIRI BAMBOO TRAINING HALL
KAMPALA NAMATABA NAKASEETA ACADEMY
FOREST HIGH SCHOOL
KUTAMBA AIDS ORPHAN SCHOOL
LAKE BUNYONYI CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY SCHOOL
A project conducted at The Lake Bunyonyi Christian Community Secondary Vocational School, Kabale by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (UK practice) was a project which I felt had fully realised its design ambitions in creating an appropriate yet innovative design. (Figure 1.4) This project was largely successful because of the on-site commitment of qualified architects and engineers who had designed the project, for the duration of the construction. The dispersal of stakeholders across continents in the majority of the projects resulted in a distinct lack of onsite and face to face communications which concluded in a deficiency in understanding between the two cultures. Examples such as that of the Nakaseeta Academy (Figure 1.5) where the sponsor/client was in America, the engineers/architects based in the UK and the construction workers Ugandan represent a problematic situation when trying to complete a successful, collaborative project.
The research that I undertook led to my individual perception of these projects, alongside the observations of the users but didn’t encompass the perceptions of those associated with the architecture discipline, Ugandan or Western. The projects visited were all built within the last decade and were also mainly based in the rural context which led to a need to examine the urban implications of western influence from the colonial to post-colonial era, in order to obtain a greater understanding of the present day context.
With architects like Diébédo Francis Kéré receiving international recognition for his projects in his home village of Gando in Burkino Faso and setting a precedent for humanitarian architecture in Africa; his success is illustrated in his ability to understand and communicate in the Burkino Faso context in combination with his architectural education in Berlin. Kere represents a collaboration of a cultural and architectural nature that provides a platform for successful innovation using both western and vernacular influences. How can the positive precedent of Kere translate into the architecture of the many western stakeholders constructing in Uganda and how can the amalgamation of cultural knowledge that Kere Architecture has be attained through collaborative practice? This leads to the aim of this dissertation:
‘CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: TOWARDS AN INTERCULTURAL COLLABORATION FOR THE FUTURE ARCHITECTURE OF UGANDA’ In exploring this aim the following objectives were identified that I felt would provide the necessary contextual understanding, examine past and present western architectural influence in creating a platform of knowledge that would enable a proposal towards a method for collaboration, which could generate an
1 TO UNDERSTAND UGANDAN ARCHITECTURAL IDENTITY 2 TO UNDERSTAND WHAT AN APPROPRIATE ARCHITECTURE FOR UGANDA IS
3 TO UNDERSTAND WHAT METHODS CAN FACILITATE COLLABORATION IN THE AMBITION FOR A HOLISTIC ARCHITECTURAL AGENDA
‘Evaluating the Appropriateness and Success of the Approaches to Sustainable Architecture by Western Bodies in Uganda’
FIGURE 1.3 BEDFORD SCHOLARSHIP REPORT 2012
Rebecca Nixon BEDFORD SCHOLAR 2012 WEST YORKSHIRE SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTS
LAKE BUNYONYI CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY SCHOOL RICHARD FEILDEN FOUNDATION, BURO HAPPOLD TRUST + FCB STUDIOS
Barakat Academy of Nakaseeta BUILDING TOMORROW + GIFFORD LLC
2.LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1
To Understand Ugandan
Architectural Identity Although the format of an action research dissertation rarely accommodates for an extensive literature review, is important in this dissertation, as preconceptions about Uganda by the reader will vary widely and hence setting the context of the research is of great importance in increasing the understanding of the study.
An absolute definition of ‘identity’ is reductionist as ‘identity’ encompasses many strands, such as cultural and ecological and how these forms of identity link to each other. In considering the vernacular or local ‘identity’ of a place it is then important to consider the role of the foreigner in creating an imposed identity. In this respect, in order to firstly understand the context in which architectural collaboration can take place in Uganda it is first important to consider the context that it sits in. I am going to relate aspects of Uganda’s history from a variety of sources, both Ugandan and non-Ugandan; in an attempt to establish a framework of Uganda’s historical context within which modern day perceptions rely on. Social anthropologist, Tim Ingold in discussing that there is no longer a reasoning to justify the separation of the disciplines of anthropology and psychology states ‘For we now recognise that such processes as thinking, perceiving, remembering and learning have to be studied within the ecological contexts of people’s interrelations with their environments.’1 It
is this connection to the Ugandan (urban) environment, past and present, which will provide a historical framework to help understand the modern day context of Uganda. Through looking at Uganda in three stages; pre- colonial, colonial and post-colonial, a narrative of the relationship between people and place can be established. Throughout the African continent an identity struggle with the colonial memories and artefacts of the past are visible; this struggle manifest in a variety of ways from the outward changes such as the re-naming of capital cities, like Mobutu’s (dictator of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) decision to rename Leopoldville to Kinshasa which ‘represented attempts at reclaiming an African identity for that most symbolic of centres of power: the capital city.’2 to the more hidden social separations that take place within the city. In 1993, Wakhweya, a Ugandan architecture student studying at Oxford Brookes University answered the question ‘What is Ugandan about architecture in Uganda?’Through stating that the architecture of Uganda is defined by
‘all the buffeting the country has endured.’3
The precolonial urban environment in Uganda is described by Medard and Reid as being transformed in two phases; ‘the first driven predominantly by the lure of long distance commerce, the second, beginning after the mid1880s, influenced by the growing importance of and authority of foreign religions.’4 These were the first foreign influences within the Buganda dynastic capital and the beginnings of a simultaneous dilution and enrichment of architectural identity in Uganda; in the form of Islamic traders from the East coastline in the 1840’s and Christian missionaries and French Catholics from the 1870’s.
DAVID ADJAYE’S PRESENTATION OF ARCHITECTURE IN UGANDA 1 Ingold, T. 2000. The Perception of the Environment Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. P.171 2 Enwezor, O. 2011. Friend, enemy, neighbour, stranger: proximity and the crisis of hospitality in an African city. London: Thames and Hudson and Rizzoli. p.26 3 Wakhweya, R. 1993 in Olweny, M. 1998. Monumental through Design, Identity by Definition: The Architecture of Uganda prior to Independence. p.22 Available at: http://www. academia.edu/1068114/Monumental_through_Design_Identity_by_ Definition_The_Architecture_of_Uganda_prior_to_Independence [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 4 Medard, H. and Reid, R. 2000. Merchants, Missions & the Remaking of the Urban Environment in Buganda c.1840-90 in Africa’s Urban Past. Oxford: James Currey Ltd p.99
Research Question 1:
What are the effects of
on Ugandan architectural identity?
The capital city of Uganda, Kampala, has a unique history of development through the presence of two seats of government each trying to create their own capital; one being the Buganda dynastic capital and the other being that of the a British colonial capital. When assessing the direct impact of these rivalling rulers on the physical urban fabric of Kampala, we can examine their respective parliament buildings; The Bulange, the lukiiko (parliament) building of the Kingdom of Buganda (1956) (Figure 2.1) designed by the British architectural partnership of Cobb, Powell and Freeman and the Uganda Parliament Building (1962)(Figure 2.2) designed for a competition won by the British Architectural Association graduates, Peatfield and Bodgener. Intentions of the architecture of the Bulange were to give ‘one of the oldest kingdoms in Africa a modern demeanour, and the Uganda Parliament Building, to portray the emergence of the new ‘unitary’ state of Uganda.’5 These two buildings not only represent a politically charged architecture but also symbols of a forced identity within Uganda. In contrast to the earthy pigmentation of the Ugandan vernacular architecture, both these buildings are finished in white paint; the exterior façade of white paint is a common trait of colonial buildings and like the architecture of monumentality can be perceived as a symbol of status but also the refutation of a primitive existence. The preferential choice of a white outer shell creates the portrayal that the traditional materials of the wattle and daub hut are inferior.
‘Colonial and Post-colonial governments were aware of the value of using monumentality in state architecture, to present a sense of progress, to promote national pride and unity and to bring international recognition.’6
The result of this is illustrated in the presentation of Uganda’s architecture in the book ‘New Architecture in Africa’ by Udo Kultermann in 1963. (Figure 2.3) FIGURE
THE BULANGE (BUILT 1956)
5 Olweny, M. 1998. Monumental through Design, Identity by Definition: The Architecture of Uganda prior to Independence. p.18 Available at: http://www.academia.edu/1068114/ Monumental_through_Design_Identity_by_Definition_The_Architecture_of_Uganda_prior_to_Independence [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 6
THE UGANDA PARLIAMENT BUILDING (BUILT 1962)
UDO KULTERMANN, COLONIAL BUILDINGS OF KAMPALA
Having discussed how architecture in the colonial era has affected the postcolonial architecture physically, what are the social implications? In the essay ‘Friend, enemy, neighbour, stranger: proximity and the crisis of hospitality in an African city.’7 Nigerian-born, American writer, Okwui Enwezor identifies the complex relationship between that of the ‘settler’ and the ‘native’. In this analysis the settler and the native take on different forms becoming the ‘indigenes’ and the ‘migrant’, the ‘neighbour’ and the ‘stranger’ and the ‘government’ and the ‘insurgent’. Enwezor discusses the zones in which the native and the settler inhabit, describing the two zones as both following ‘the principle of reciprocal exclusivity’8. These distinctive racial and class zones that sit alongside each other within the post-colonial African city can be seen in the tropical modernism of the work of German planner Ernst May, in Uganda, depicted in his master plans for Kampala in the mid20th century. (Figure 2.5) The work of May illustrates a forced hierarchy of society and a manipulation of the native population, not only through the distinctive zoning of the city but also through the architecture, in the assigning of different housing typologies; these schemes not only induced the required control of the native populations, but also set a precedent of the western house typology which through hierarchical assignment, became perceived as better than the vernacular houses of Ugandan culture.
‘For there is no native who does not dream at least one day of setting himself up in the settlers place.’9
The colonial dominance of the native population within Africa created an image of power that was translated through their buildings and also set a scene for opposition. In 1969, Kultermann, a German author, writes, that ‘shortly after 1960, Africans wanted to replace foreign architects, technicians and specialists with native personnel as quickly as possible.’10 The present day context needs to be understood with this reactionary memory from colonial times in mind, as well as the aspirations associated with western architecture as a status symbol; especially when considering the barriers and perceptions that were formed from both the Ugandan and Western perspective.
7 Enwezor, O. 2011. Friend, enemy, neighbour, stranger: proximity and the crisis of hospitality in an African city. London: Thames and Hudson and Rizzoli. p.23 8
Kultermann. U. 1963. New Directions in African Architecture. London: Studio Vista. P.12
ERNST MAY’S KAMPALA EXTENSION PLAN
ERNST MAY’S SCHEMATIC PLAN OF KAMPALA
Research Question 2:
What are the effects of
and on Ugandan architectural identity?
’Based on my experiences in Uganda, I believe that dream of modernity has been unleashed up to the deepest corner of the country and in its face local cultures are facing a slow but certain decay.’11 Tom Sanya, Ugandan architect
Having already mentioned the implications of governance in the colonial era, in shaping not only the urban fabric but also the perceptions of the people, it is also essential to evaluate how the key stakeholders that are shaping modern day Uganda have changed from the colonial era. The development of the Nakawa district of Kampala provides an illustrative example of past and present, western stakeholders. In May’s 1947 proposal for Kampala he depicted a small housing tract for native workers, which was planned close to the Nakawa industrial zone and rail line.12 (Figure 2.6) In stark contrast, in 2014, there is now an urban regeneration of the Nakawa area consisting of an urban development scheme covering 65 hectares, involving The Made in Africa Foundation (sponsored by Atlantic Energy), international property developer Comer Group and architecture firms such as Irish based, Plus Architecture and London based David Adjaye Associates.13 (Figure 2.7) In this scheme, claiming to be ‘Africa’s largest planned urban redevelopment project’ some of the main influences on architecture in Uganda today are apparent in the form of international investors and western
architects. Another important set of stakeholders that are emerging strongly in shaping Uganda’s present, but also future architectural identity is the humanitarian design sector, including Western NGO’s, charities and architecture practices. These different groups project a variety of architectural values, modes of practice and design intentions. Arguments are emerging between those taking part in humanitarian design and individuals such as American author Bruce Nussbaum, who criticises humanitarian design in his article ‘Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism?’ questioning whether ‘American and European designers are collaborating with the right partners, learning from the best local people, and being as sensitive as they might to the colonial legacies of the countries they want to do good in.’14
11 Sanya, T. 2007. Living in Earth: The Sustainability of Earth Architecture in Uganda. Oslo: The Oslo School of Architecture and Design Available at: https://openlibrary. org/works/OL11740573W/Living_in_earth [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 12
Gutstscho, K. 2004. ‘Modern Planning as Civilizing Agent: Ernst May’s Kampala Extension Scheme’ Recalibrating Centers and Margins: Proceedings of the 2003 ACSA Conference. Washington DC: ACSA. p. 247
13 Dezeen. 2014. David Adjaye designs office campus for new 65-hectare development in Uganda. Available at: http://www. dezeen.com/2014/01/02/david-adjaye-office-campus-kampala-uganda/ [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
14 Nussbaum, B. 2010. Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism? Available at: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1661859/ is-humanitarian-design-the-new-imperialism [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
ERNST MAY’S NAKAWA HOUSING SCHEME
DAVID ADJAYE’S PROPOSED OFFICE CAMPUS NAKAWA HOUSING REDEVELOPMENT
Research Question 3:
unified architectural Identity Can a
â€˜To an extent however, the presentation or representation of national identity through architecture has been an invention of sorts, particularly in the former European colonies of Africa, where unified national identities has never existedâ€™15 Here, Olweny highlights the links between national identity and architectural identity, but also illustrates the challenge of defining identity in that you also have to acknowledge the presence of invented identities. Can architectural identity as a sole definition exist in isolation of political, economic or cultural identity? Once the parameters of an architectural identity have been established and defined, a depiction of identity is chosen and portrayed; is it the architectural identity perceived by that of the Ugandan tradesman in the markets of Kampala, or is it that of the western academic investigating the city from afar? The subjectivity of both architectural portrayal and the identity of a place even at a specific time, from a given cultural perspective, creates a challenging platform for a singular architectural identity to exist. In some respects the subjectivity of architectural identity provides an opportunity for innovation in architecture, through the acceptance of interpretation. An opportunity for collaboration is also provided using both western and vernacular architecture; both of which are prevalent in Uganda.
(opposite page, left)
Olweny, M. 1998. Monumental through Design, Identity by Definition: The Architecture of Uganda prior to Independence. p.1 Available at: http://www.academia.edu/1068114/ Monumental_through_Design_Identity_by_Definition_The_Architecture_of_Uganda_prior_to_Independence [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
MAPEERA HOUSE BURTON STREET CENTRAL KAMPALA FIGURE
(opposite page, right)
EASTERN PLAZA CENTRAL KAMPALA
To Understand what an
ARCHITECTURE for Uganda is
Similarly to the discussion of the perception of a Ugandan architectural identity, the understanding of what an ‘appropriate’ architecture in Uganda should or could be is also a highly subjective topic. In discussing the development of an architectural educational framework in developing countries Gantner states:
an added complexity when considering hierarchical power struggles between groups and the variance in architectural values and intention. In this respect an appropriate architecture in Uganda has to be established with a set of common goals.
‘No institution could possibly have an answer for what is appropriate - nor should it, as appropriateness varies widely according to context and may evolve as rapidly as technology.’
If this logic is applied to the determining of an appropriate architecture within Uganda, this suggests that the search for an appropriate architectural identity is impossible but a framework for finding appropriate solutions within a given time and context is imperative; thus the definition of an ‘appropriate’ architecture in Uganda is where the stakeholders act responsibly and receptively to a given context. As previously mentioned the different stakeholders constructing in Uganda vary greatly; appropriate to the international investor is profit, appropriate to the rural Ugandan population constitutes affordability. The multiplicity of stakeholders generates
16 Gantner, G. 2012. Hands, Eyes and Feet: Approaches to an Architectural Education. p.232 Available at: http://www. sfc2012.org/gantner.pdf [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
YUSUF LULE ROAD, KAMPALA
Research Question 1:
What are the limitations of
culture and place
in forming an appropriate architecture for Uganda?
Perceptions of the West ‘As a general rule, contemporary accounts and commentaries on cities in Africa have produced largely mechanistic (and simplistic) accounts of spatial incoherence, overcrowding, impoverishment, unemployment, decay, neglect, organized crime, everyday violence, inter-ethnic strife, civil disorder, environmental degradation, pollution, unruly behaviour and juvenile delinquency.’17 The general perception of Africa by the west is a predominant factor that prohibits the potential development and understanding of a future appropriate architecture. When considering the meaning of appropriate in the eyes of a western socially driven architect, the image of appropriate is defined by a cautionary reaction against the precedent of colonial dominance and of the homogenisation of globalisation.
definition of an ‘appropriate architecture’. There is then the issue of the relevance and definition of the vernacular in the present context of Uganda. Tan Hock Beng describes the idea of the ‘contemporary vernacular’ where ‘the architect needs to decide which past principles are still appropriate and valid for today’s reality…the aim is innovation rather than reduplication.’19
‘The term ‘vernacular architecture’ is one of the most commonly used but least understood terms.’18
Vernacular architectural re-interpretation is seen in the Regionalist and Critical Regionalist movements, described as emerging as a ‘backlash toward a globalised architecture, making reference directly and indirectly respectively to vernacular architecture. Both relatively minor movements, regionalism tends to have been kept within the confines of the tourist market, as a kitsch way to provide an ‘authentic’ African experience with all benefits of modernity.’20 This analysis represents architecture of fake imitation, where the vernacular is used to infer nostalgia in an attempt to be authentic, setting yet another precedent to shape the perception of architecture in Uganda.
Using the ‘vernacular’ is often seen as the best way to proceed in a reaction against the inappropriate modernist buildings within the city. In order to use the vernacular there first has to be an understanding of the vernacular; it this understanding or failure to understand that causes a problem in the
These examples of stereotypical interpretations indicate that there is a need for the westerner to reconsider and reframe perceptions of Uganda. The lack of literature on African architecture that isn’t of an anthropological nature also illustrates the need for a re-evaluation of preconceived views; this is especially true in the example of humanitarian design. From my previous research, a common theme emerged
that the projects built in rural Uganda on a humanitarian basis by Western charities and NGOs, illustrated a limited contextual understanding due to the inability to commit to being on site through the duration of the project. The transient nature of humanitarian design projects limits the ability for western organisations to gain an in-depth contextual understanding, create transferable skills and leads to a deficiency in knowledge exchange and also post occupancy evaluation; all of which are important factors in the formation of an appropriate architecture.
OWINO MARKET CENTRAL KAMPALA 17 Murray, J. and Myers, G. 2006. Cities in Contemporary Africa. London: Palgrave Macmillan. P.1 18 Beng, T in Tzonis, Lefaivre and Stagno. 2001.Tropical Architecture: Critical Regionalism in the Age of Globalization. London: Wiley Academy p.93
20 Jones, M. 2009. Colonialism to Neo-Colonialism and No Further? Western Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa. M.Arch Dissertation. p.37
Research Question 2:
What are the needs for
future adaptation? Perceptions from Uganda
‘Changing Ugandan architecture is difficult because you have to change the minds of the people.’21 Stephen Mukiibi, Head of Architecture Department, Makerere University (07/2012)
In discussing the need for a greater interdisciplinary exploration by architects in Uganda, Ugandan architect, Alex Ndibwami writes that: ‘this is evident in the tendency to concentrate on the physical (building) and ignore the social and environmental aspects; a prevalent attitude in architecture practice in Uganda.’22 Ugandan architect, Olweny also points towards a need of architecture practices in Uganda to develop a greater interdisciplinary understanding: ‘The current struggle in Uganda to find a unique identity is explained in Olweny (2007), who argues that the link between history, politics, religion and architecture is yet to be fully appreciated in contemporary architecture discourse.’23
materials; not only does this have cultural implications, but also reveals a climatic inappropriateness of western techniques and materials in the Ugandan context. The disregard of vernacular materials and techniques in favour of unsustainable colonial materials, also illustrates a removal of culture. The research that I undertook initially, examined the success and appropriateness of sustainably sensitive architecture by Western bodies in rural Uganda; the projects examined showed a commitment to an interpretative use of vernacular materials and passive approaches. The lack of durability and transferral of these approaches into the Ugandan context was usually a result of the project execution rather than the designs themselves. A sustainable approach to architecture in Uganda that adheres to the vernacular, whilst encouraging innovation could allow for a greater opportunity for intercultural collaboration. This referral back to vernacular materials could also allow a reconnection with historic cultural values.
Ndibwami suggests that ‘The necessity for architecture in Uganda to approach society and the environment more sensitively, perceptively, flexibly and empathetically is inescapable. However this requires adequate knowledge of the issues and a dynamic human resource base’24
‘Only if we recognise our tradition as a heritage that is continually evolving will we be able to find balance between regional and international identities.’25
The architecture of the western modern discussed in 2.1 highlights some of the reasons for the negligence of vernacular
Here, Beng illustrates that an acceptance of historical context as well as the developing present day context is an important factor
in developing a unique identity in the midst of globalisation. This is a critical consideration when discussing an appropriate architecture for Uganda; as in part, the perception of appropriate can be derived from the national identity in which Uganda wishes to portray to the international world. In considering the image of Uganda within the international community it is important to consider post-colonial African identity politics in general; especially when considering the recent attention Uganda has received globally due to the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. This type of international attention enforces certain perceptions and creates a whole set of new ones; which in turn has an effect upon the platform for collaborative design when considering relations between Westerners and Ugandans.
BUGANDA ROAD CENTRAL KAMPALA
21 Mukiibi, S. 2012. Conversation with Rebecca Nixon at Makerere University 22 Ndibwami, A. 2012. ‘Lost opportunities and emerging possibilities: the place for collaboration in the built environment.’ p.206 Available at: http://sfc2012.org/ndibwami.pdf [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 23
25 Beng, T in Tzonis, Lefaivre and Stagno. 2001.Tropical Architecture: Critical Regionalism in the Age of Globalization. London: Wiley Academy p.94
Research Question 3:
What factors determine the formation of a
‘We are copying the western modern, but we don’t know the story of it.’26 Diébédo Francis Kéré
From the previous discussions it becomes apparent that there is a need for a reevaluation by both Ugandan and Western designers of architecture in the Ugandan context. The growing presence of Western stakeholders alongside the historical context of Uganda examined in Section 2.1 and the international architectural dilution highlighted in section 2.2 demands a hybrid architecture as playing an inevitable part in the future built environment of Uganda; the next question in Uganda’s architectural narrative is who will collaborate and how can collaboration take place in the development of a hybrid architecture? The development of a hybrid design creates the necessity for collaboration, which in turn requires a willingness of communication, knowledge exchange and compromise in order to gain a mutual understanding, providing the tools for collective innovation and a unification of aims, values and aspirations. The collaboration of the architectural and communicative approaches of two very separate cultural contexts generates the need for those involved to redefine their perceptions and knowledge in compromise with each other, in order to create a holistic solution.
26 Kere, F. 2011. Design Indaba. Available at: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAHeoh4TuCM [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
NAKIVUBO PLACE ROAD CENTRAL KAMPALA
To Understand what
can in the ambition for a holistic architectural agenda
I have chosen the word ‘collaboration’ in favour of ‘participation’ because of the hierarchical structure that the word participation portrays. Collaboration creates the image of an exchange of knowledge between two entities, where neither is superior to the other. This is illustrated in Sherry Arnstein’s commonly referenced ‘ladder of participation’ (Figure 2.14) only at the ‘partnership’ stage suggests two parties with equal right to contribute. The term ‘participation’ in many ways supplements the perception of Uganda’s inhabitants as helpless in creating a sense a hierarchy where the Western condition is superior to that of the Uganda; discouraging the need for intercultural collaboration in Uganda. The use of the word ‘participation’ I feel is often used as a justification that a project is good through the connotations of social inclusivity. Often in design projects fuelled by NGO’s, participatory design involves the consultation of the local community and this is used as a means to justify the design. This relationship between the local community and international stakeholders that are unfamiliar with the local context is often challenging with cultural barriers making participatory design restrictive. ‘Collaboration connotes a more durable and pervasive relationship, a greater commitment to a common goal than co-operation with an attendant increase in risk. For this to occur, the level of trust must be higher.’27
The need for a greater commitment by Western bodies when constructing in Uganda is also addressed more appropriately by ‘collaboration’ over ‘participation’ and also in the acceptance of risk by all those taking part, the requirement to communicate and compromise is fundamental, encouraging the formation of resilient relationships. Challenges with participatory design can occur with final decision making and where risk and responsibility lie. In the context of rural Uganda this risk is even more prominent with few laws, contracts or building regulations and the prevalence of corruption. In order to address hierarchical associated risks, Sulzer suggests ‘architects must develop an ordering structure.’28 The many stakeholders involved in the future of architecture in Uganda, means that a collaborative approach has to encompass a complex set of different platforms, from interdisciplinary collaboration, to intercultural collaboration to the collaboration of professional and local knowledge.
27 Kvan, T. 2000. Collaborative design: what is it? Automation in Construction 9. p.411 Available at: http:// web.arch.usyd.edu.au/~rche0750/DESC9177_July2008/Readings/ Week1_Reading.pdf [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 28 Sulzer,P. in Blundell Jones, P. and Petrescu, D. and Till, J. 2005. Architecture & Participation. Oxon: Spon Press p.159
ARNSTEIN’S LADDER OF PARTICIPATION
JINJA ROAD CENTRAL KAMPALA
Research Question 1:
How can a for intercultural communication be established?
Intercultural collaboration creates numerous difficulties beyond that of language; difference in cultural values may make it difficult to define architectural aspirations and hence presents the need for a common platform for communication exchange to be established in order to address the issue of contextual understanding. The 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale explored the theme of artistic collaboration across borders and disciplines; with the notion of ‘Common Ground’ and its importance in the relationship between architecture and society being highlighted by curator David Chipperfield. In the curating of the exhibition he discusses how he encouraged the architects to demonstrate their work in not just their own context and the telling of their own story, but in the context of architectural practice as a whole; reaching out for collective ideas. The aims of the Biennale represent an attempt to address the global context of architecture and of individualism within the whole, a factor that needs to be taken into consideration in the creation of a collaborative architecture within Uganda, especially in relation to architectural identity. In the attempt at placing the exhibition in both the local and global context simultaneously, the exhibition is trying to be relatable to a range of cultures and disciplines in order to increase understanding and the ability to collaborate. Discovering overlapping notions that provide a relatable source for all involved is crucial in finding a common ground; as with the ability to relate comes
familiarity which usually brings comfort and then sets a basis for relationships to be formed. However, in the example of humanitarian design, the need for commitment to establish common ground is often difficult to achieve, as in many cases Western bodies are primarily based in their respective countries. If commitment to be on site is not possible then the establishment of mediators to intercultural and disciplinary boundaries through their understanding is necessary. As discussed in the Introduction, Kéré Achitecture established by Diébédo Francis Kéré, exemplifies this essential relationship; defining himself as ‘a bridge between cultures, between the technically and economically developed countries of ‘the north’ and the less developed African countries (the south)’ I believe his practice portrays an appropriate and successful model for collaborative humanitarian architecture. Within the practice Kéré represents the communicative mediator enabling experimental innovation in an honest participatory model. Taking this into account, successful ‘hybrid’ design in Uganda that is considered collaborative, participatory or community architecture would be achieved through the partnership of both local and international professionals, as a way to create a mediating platform for inter-cultural understanding.
29 Design Indaba. Francis Kéré. Available at: http://www. designindaba.com/profiles/francis-k%C3%A9r%C3%A9 [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
Diébédo Francis Kéré
Research Question 2:
How can of collaborative design be encouraged and realised?
Perspectives from the West The introduction of precedents such as the work of Kéré Achitecture in Burkino Faso alongside the distribution of successful frameworks for architectural collaboration and sufficient contextual information would help provide support to Western bodies constructing in an unfamiliar context. I think also a reflective honesty by humanitarian design organisations of errors made and suggestions for resolution of these mistakes, made available for others to read would provide a greater dispersal of knowledge. Like any architectural project a greater attention to post occupancy evaluation would also provide a greater knowledge for improvement. These points reaffirm the need for a greater accessibility and production of humanitarian literature to provide support. The Richard Feilden Foundation in association with FCB Studios produced ‘A Uganda Schools Design Guide’ (Figure 2.17) which is publicly available online. The guide provides an easy to understand, well illustrated guide that is accessible to both architects and other disciplines, providing contextual information about materials, design, construction methods and project phasing all illustrated through examples. The guide also shows a reflective honesty in the realities of constructing in Uganda and also in acknowledging that: ‘As with all such documents it will remain relevant for a relatively short period of time but educational and building practices change. ’30
30 Clay, M. and Slee, B. 2011. A Uganda Schools Design Guide. Available at: http://www.sleeandco.com.au/downloads/ Uganda%20Design%20Guide.pdf
A UGANDA SCHOOLS DESIGN GUIDE MATT CLAY + BEN SLEE
Research Question 3:
How can of collaborative design be encouraged and realised?
Perspectives from UGANDA
As previously mentioned the lack of regulation and policy in Uganda creates an uncertain platform for design; this not only deters certain stakeholders but also attracts those stakeholders such as international investors that thrive in unrestricted contexts. In order to address this there is a necessity for a strengthening of laws and setting of standards to implement regulations; unfortunately corruptive behaviour hinders this. Ugandan architect and lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University Alex Ndibwami, acknowledges the necessity of an improvement in stakeholder monitoring advising that; ‘It is crucial that a scientific knowledge base on how communities are resourcing themselves and being resourced by initiatives from local and national governments, NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as the international donor community, is built. This will assist the process of making architecture part of the resourcing network, which is a direct outcome of a collaborative attitude’31 Ndibwami also describes practice in Uganda ;
‘Traditional built form is as old as mankind, however architecture as a profession is perhaps not as old. The profession is even younger in Uganda–approximately 50 years, with a ratio of 1 Architect for every 200,000 people. The loose connections that practice is predominately based upon could benefit from the numerous possibilities
in collaborating with more experienced architects and international firms.’32
a more complete and in-depth exploration of pertinent issues, but also goes a long way to sparking ‘Intellectual Passion’ in students.’35
Ndibwami suggests an approach towards collaboration with foreign architects alongside the encouraging of architectural education in Uganda. Architectural education in Uganda is relatively young, with the first department of architecture established at Makerere University, Kampala in 1984 and the first students admitted in 198933. The department currently admits around 30 students each year. Makerere University was established in 1922 as a technical College and is the largest and second oldest higher institution of learning in Uganda34. In the discussion of built environment education in Uganda, Nshemeeirwe and Olweny discuss how deficiencies in primary and secondary education affect architecture students suggesting that the ‘system need to be corrected in order to enable 31 Ndibwami, A. 2012. ‘Lost opportunities and emerging possibilities: the place for collaboration in the built environment.’ p.207 Available at: http://sfc2012.org/ ndibwami.pdf [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 32
33 Makerere University. College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. Available at: http://cedat.mak.ac.ug/ academics/schools/sobe/doaapp.html [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, DESIGN, ART AND TECHNOLOGY, MAKERERE UNIVERSITY 34 Makerere University. Historical Background. Available at:http://mak.ac.ug/ [Accessed on 7th April 2014] 35 Nshemeeirwe, C. and Olweny, M. 2006. Educating Built Environment Professionals: Perspectives From Uganda. p.12 Available at: new1.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/cebe/p33_mark_olweny.pdf p.12 [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
3. METHODOLOGY 3.1 Research model:
‘Knowledge Exchange Workshops’ ‘To be successful, a collaborative project must establish a definition of the team, identify their outcomes, ensure there is a purpose of the collaboration and clarify the interdependencies of the members.’36
In addressing the 3 objectives I chose to organise a series of ‘knowledge exchange’ workshops in collaboration with the architecture department at Makerere University. The workshops provided a framework for intercultural collaboration and I thought that it would be mutually beneficial to see the different teaching styles and abilities of architecture students in Uganda in relation to my experience at the University of Sheffield; in this respect our architectural education gave us a familiar platform to relate to each other by. I chose action research methods for its enabling of active relationships to form which I felt were not only beneficial but also essential in tackling the aim of this study. The workshops took place over 5 days from July 1st – July 5th (2013) and were structured as illustrated in (Figure 3.1) I was able to fund transport to the site visits for the students though using money provided by the Noel Hill Scholarship that I was awarded by American Institute of Architects (UK Chapter) (Figure 3) The workshops were held with sixteen architecture students that were taking part in their internship training during their vacation, which formed part of
their degree structure. The workshops were officially included in the student’s internship training alongside a group design project that encompassed the proposal for a Guidance and Counselling Centre to be built on Makerere University Campus. At the end of the internship program the students were required to produce a report on the internship period including both the workshops and the Guidance and Counselling Centre. The students were from different year groups ranging from second year to fourth year and were selected by the head of department, Dr Stephen Mukiibi and tutor Dr. Nnaggenda-Musana; who informed me that the students were chosen for their ‘level of critical perception and their ability to question what they are being taught; they won’t just accept what you are telling them to be true’37
36 Kvan, T. 2000. Collaborative design: what is it? Automation in Construction 9. p.409 Available at: http:// web.arch.usyd.edu.au/~rche0750/DESC9177_July2008/Readings/ Week1_Reading.pdf [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
AIA NOEL HILL STUDENT TRAVEL AWARD
37 Nnaggenda, A. 2013. Conversation with Rebecca Nixon at Makerere University
PRESENTATION + DISCUSSION
OTHER ACTIVITIES ORGANISED WIHIN THE ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE WORKSHOPS IN UGANDA JULY 2ND
‘IDENTITY: ARCHITECTURE VS. CULTURE’
‘WHO + WHY?’ AIMS AND OBJECTIVES PRESENTATION ON MY WORK
‘WHAT IS UGANDAN ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN UGANDA?’
‘COLLABORATIVE’ CASE STUDIES’
1 NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE
3 GLULAM BUILDING
STUDENTS PRESENT PROJECTS
PROJECT VISIT: OBSERVATIONAL RESEARCH
2 OLD ST ANTHONY’S CHURCH
‘BRIDGING CULTURES IN DESIGN’
4 BAMBOO TRAINING HALL
REVIEWS: STUDENTS GROUP PROPOSALS FOR GUIDANCE + COUNSELLING CENTRE
‘GOOD DESIGN?’ DISCUSSION + MIND MAP
‘INNOVATION THROUGH THE VERNACULAR’
SITE VISIT: MUBENDE
‘BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE IN UGANDA’ DISCUSSION
6 SMALL SCALE RURAL INNOVATION: BIOGAS
PRECEDENT: DIEBEDO FRANCIS KERE
6 ST ZOE: MASTERPLANNING
5 BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
KISENYI LANDSHARING PROJECT: REFLECTION FROM THE STUDENTS
Bukenya Lawrence Matovu
Murungi Brian David
Habasa Kirabo Andrew
Kutumba John Mary
Okoth John Lawrence
ACTION RESEARCH ‘Some of the characteristics of action research include: that it solves practical problems at the same time as increasing knowledge; it is carried out collaboratively between people sharing skills, experiences and knowledge for mutual benefit; it is cyclical in nature and it strives to be emancipatory (Cohen 2000). Action research is particularly well suited to investigating complex social problems. Our experiences confirm that this approach to research gives an opportunity to investigate complex cultural perspectives in a sensitive way that provides new insights.’38
The model of action research is a contested subject amongst academics; definitions such as Hopkin’s state ‘Action research combines a substantive act with a research procedure; it is action disciplined by enquiry, a personal attempt to understand while engaged in a process of improvement and reform.’39 Placing an emphasis on the personal interaction involved within enquiry and understanding, this in itself creates subjectivity within action research and also an uncertainty of the results pertained. If the enquiry is subjective and the results are defined through the ability to create a change or improvement; how do you find the proof of this improvement or even define ‘improvement’? In this respect, what could be perceived as a lack of findings or analysis is not a criticism of the researcher, but of the nature of action research itself; improvement and
benefit are simply difficult to measure. The individual emphasis and their opinion also has an impact on the clarity of the action research, especially as the Denscombe model (Figure 3.3) of action research suggests in point two that the researcher is to ‘identify a problem’; this creates the issue that the problem has to be justified, otherwise who is to say there is even a problem? This is where the initial research that I undertook from June 2012-August 2012 is important in creating background knowledge and evidence for the problem I have presented (lack of communication/intercultural collaboration and disciplines). Dick, 1997 states that action research ‘is usually described as cyclic, with action and critical reflection taking place in turn. The reflection is used to review the previous action and plan the next one.’40 This definition describes action research as a cyclic process, illustrating the next challenge in the ability of research results to demonstrate that a change has occurred; as the research taken place could simply enable a future improvement within the next research through the analysis taken place.
A REPRESENTATION OF DENSCOMBE’S ACTION RESEARCH MODEL
MAIN ADMINISTRATION BUILDING MAKERERE UNIVERSITY COMPLETED 1941
Backhouse, J. 2006. Local Research, Global Community: Action Research for a New Century. Australia: The University of Sydney p.33 39 Hopkins, A. 2002 in Costello,P. 2003. Continuum Research Methods: Action Research. Cornwall: MPG Books p.3
Dick, B. 1997 in Costello,P. 2003. Continuum Research Methods: Action Research. Cornwall: MPG Books p.4
Other criticisms of action research are highlighted as ‘ethical concerns associated with undertaking action research; rigour in action research; and the generalizability of findings from action research projects.’ 41 This envelops the issues related around permission and transparency of the research to all those involved. In order to overcome this I was careful to emphasise the aims of the research in the first session within the workshops; I gave a presentation on my intentions, aims and objectives and gave opportunity for questions from the students and staff members present. This question and answer session enabled the students to ask about a variety of topics including my architectural education which was important in creating familiarity. In terms of arranging the workshops I had initially met Stephen Mukiibi, the head of the Architectural Department at Makerere University during my initial research and whilst planning the workshops I sent a plan which was amended with suggestions from Stephen and other staff members; this dialect was important in creating an appropriate framework for the workshops and also initiated the collaborative process. Rigour in action research is the next criticism and as previously highlighted rigour can be difficult to illustrate as the research is primarily presented in qualitative date rather than quantitative data. One way I have attempted to overcome this is the variation of methods chosen to form the research, which aim to continually
challenge pre-conceived assumptions. In using a variety of methods as illustrated in (Figure 3.1) I aim to increase the validity of the research in accompaniment with a wide range of data collection including interviews, sketchbook notes, videos and photos. A further concern of action research is defined by the restriction of the short timescale of the research; Robson suggests that ‘a researcher’s prolonged involvement in a study may help reduce to reduce this observation respondents’ bias’42 addresses the problem of my cultural background and the restriction created by cultural barriers and assumptions both on my behalf and the student’s behalf; reiterating the importance of my initial meeting with the students and the importance of honesty and knowledge exchange when informing the students about my past experiences in Uganda. My past experience of teaching for a year at a school built and funded by a Manchester based Charity and the encounters of cultural exchange I witnessed alongside the initial research I undertook is therefore crucially important in increasing credibility both in conducting the study from the perspective of the students and staff at Makerere University but also when considering the validity of this report. The short timescale also has an important effect on the achievable outcome of the research, which is something I also have to consider and in this respect I want to be realistic in what I aim to achieve in the 5 days at Makerere University.
(opposite page, left)
MAIN ADMINISTRATION BUILDING FIGURE
(opposite page, right)
ST AUGUSTINE CHAPEL MAKERERE UNIVERSITY COMPLETED 1941
41 Costello,P. 2003. Continuum Research Methods: Action Research. Cornwall: MPG Books p.40 42
RESEARCH ETHICS As an undergraduate student in Sheffield School of Architecture I consulted my tutor, Dr Lucy Jones with regard to the ethics of this research and worked in accordance with the University of Sheffield’s ethical guidance. The participatory nature of the study created a need for aims and objectives to be clearly and verbally stated, which was done from the initial communications between Stephen Mukiibi and I. Transparency within the workshops was of great importance in the formation of trust and the students and staff at Makerere University were happy not to be anonymised in this dissertation. I was careful to title the action research as ‘knowledge exchange’ in an attempt to not force my presence or position as a western architecture student; I feel the title is also suitable in relation to the participation and collaboration theories previously discussed. I used the term ‘workshops’ as it suggests a more flexible program in terms of activities and also indicates a level of interactivity and exchange that I do not feel is represented by the term ‘seminar’ for example. The program of knowledge exchange on a peer to peer level as opposed to a student- teacher model allowed for the removal of powerbased relations that I believe would cause interruption and hindrance to the research.
CAPITAL CITY OF UGANDA
MAKERERE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
AERIAL VIEW OF KAMPALA
4. DATA + ANALYSIS As seen in (Figure 3.1) I divided the 5 days into a series of exploratory themes correlating with the structure of my objectives. I decided that the most appropriate and useful forms of activities would be presentations, followed by discussion (informal) and then visits to projects, mainly within Kampala (Figure 3.7). The projects visited accompanied the class discussions and presentations and were chosen because of the different stakeholders involved in each and to demonstrate the different ways in which western bodies have and are currently influencing design. The evaluation of projects was mainly focussed on architectural intent, stakeholder involvement and consideration towards vernacular and western design in evaluating sustainability. The projects presented case studies of western influenced architecture in Uganda, providing the students with the opportunity to critically reflect upon western architectural influence whilst thinking about the contribution these buildings had on Ugandan architectural identity and in evaluating the success of these buildings considered their place in the future of Ugandan architecture. In consideration of this the project visits continually addressed both Objective 1 and 2. I have chosen to present the data and analysis chronologically, following the narrative of the workshops; endeavouring to interweave the variety of data alongside the viewpoints of the students to emphasise the context of
Uganda, for those that are unfamiliar. I have chosen to discuss particular pieces of data with more rigour, as I feel they hold greater importance in portraying perception and in directly addressing the title of the
PROJECT VISIT 1: PROJECT VISIT 2:
NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE
ST ANTHONYS CHURCH
LAKE VICTORIA MAKERERE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
PROJECT VISIT 5:
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
AERIAL VIEW OF KAMPALA
4.1 Addressing architectural
Identity in Uganda (Objective 1)
The workshops that took place on Day 1 and 2 allowed for an exploration of Objective 1 in discussing and questioning Ugandan architectural identity; which was achieved through the presentation of the findings in the literature review and was also addressed by my presence and intent as a westerner in organising the workshops
JULY 1ST On July 1st I asked the students to bring along their work (Figure 4.2), as I was interested to hear about their projects but also because it set up the tone and tenor of the exchange for the rest of the week. The initial exchange between the students and me in presenting our architecture portfolios, addressed the similarities and differences in our architectural education and our cultural contexts. It also allowed for an initial informal exchange; enabling a repertoire to begin, initiating the formation of trust between participant and researcher. After lunch we discussed what ‘Good Design’ was as a group (Figure 4.2) the aim of this discussion was to informally compare and contrast our architectural opinions but also to encourage debate and demonstrate parallels between my ‘western’ opinion and the opinion of the students.
In his Internship states:
‘This was a free and open discussion where we raised what we thought consisted of a good design and issues’ such as; sustainability, cost effective (lowest possible cost without compromising quality, communication (the ability for the architect to translate the design to the builders effectively through the drawings, orally and among others), appropriate, appealing (the aesthetic quality), natural influence and cultural influence were all raised and discussed in both the Ugandan and Foreign (UK) context.’
STEHEN MUKIIBI HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Andrew’s use of the term ‘free and open’ illustrates the informality of the discussion and that he felt comfortable in sharing his thoughts; indicating to the creation of an uninhibited platform for exchange which refers back to the suggestions made in the literature review
FIGURE 4.2 (opposite page)
Habasa, A. 2013. Cultural Collaboration Workshops. Makerere University. P.34
STUDENT PROJECT PRESENTATIONS + ‘GOOD DESIGN?’ DISCUSSION
Vubya Emmanuel presents a proposal for a Backpackersâ€™ Guest House in Jinja
Okoth John Lawrences presents a proposal for a low cost urban housing project in Katanga.
Annet presentING HER third year proposals for a mixed use facility in Kampala
AnDREW presentING HIS third year proposals for a mixed use facility in Kampala
WHAT IS GOOD DESIGN?
IDENTITY PRESENTATION SLIDES
JULY 2ND We started July 2nd with a presentation (Figure 4.3) on architectural identity in Uganda, using quotes and opinions from the literature review alongside images of architecture in Kampala we were able to debate the perceptions presented. Some of the responses to the quotes in the literature review are as follows: SLIDE 1:
Student 1: ‘There is no particular architecture it is to do with the tribes and different localities.’
UGANDAN ARCHITECTURAL IDENTITY?
‘What is Ugandan about Architecture in Uganda?’ Olweny & Wadulo
‘Architecture serves an important purpose in the non-verbal communication of cultural values and aspirations of a community or in some cases the ruling class.’ Lang + Desai, 1997
Student 2: ‘Ugandan architecture depicts order within disorder’ SLIDE 2:
Student 1: ‘I think the architecture of Uganda has similar aspirations but different realisations.’ SLIDE 3:
Student 1: ‘Ugandan people still respect the traditional layout of their houses, but not the materiality; the materiality of your house can represent the ultimate status symbol.’ Slide 4:
A discussion commenced with one of the students directing at the other student: ‘the dream of modernity has been imprinted on you as well!’
‘The traditional form, in any culture, should be the starting pint in the quest for soci0-culturally appropriate, popular building culture. This is particularly true of developing economies. Modern architects in such regions of the world would do well to study and improve upon it, bearing in mind the fact it has stood the test of time several hundred years of innovation and has to a large extent, persisted in spite of time.’ Osasuna, 2011
‘The architecture of Uganda today is defined by the buffeting the country has endured.’ Wakhweya, 1993
‘Colonial architecture served the colonialists as an instrument of social oppression and urban segregation. Architecture served as a tool for formulating collective colonial memories among distinct African ethnic groups, uniting them into exploitable nation states.’ Nnamdi, 2001
‘The fact that most Ugandans live in one building type (the reality of the hut) and yet would prefer to have a different building type (the dream of a brick building) represents a qualitative architectural deficiency.’
‘I believe that dream of modernity has been unleashed up to the deepest corner of the country and in its face local cultures are facing a slow but certain decay.’ Tom Sanya
‘A number of Ugandan architects regard the use of indigenous materials and typologies as being primitive and irrelevant for the modern world. Most new projects are driven by neither local needs nor clients, but by foreign influences and financing.’ Tom Sanya
‘While the level of underdevelopment in developing countries may be cause for despair, it also provides an opportunity for development in these countries to avoid the problems currently experienced in the developed countries. Developing countries need not got through the same process of development as that followed by the developed countries. Instead all these countries can choose to base all future development on the principles of sustainability.’ Plessis, 2002
AERIAL VIEW OF SITE
The student’s reactions illustrated a common referral to traditional cultural values and began to explore how these values are being lost in the translation of current architectural agendas in Uganda. The students also confirmed the view of Olweny in 2.1.3 in stating that the vernacular architecture varies within different localities. This addresses the lack of literature available on the vernacular of different tribes within Uganda but also raises the question of how westerners would be able to understand these cultural values and transfer these into architecture over a short period of time with no literature available; once again emphasising the necessity of a collaborative approach. The project visits in the afteroon allowed for a reflection of the identity discussion through the investigation of western influences in built form from colonial times in St Anthony’s Church and then a reflection on the refutation of colonial architecture illustrated in the Ndere Cultural Centre. The students were complimentary of the Ndere Cultural Centre, describing the design as ‘contextually fitting’ and paying particular attention to the use of an array of vernacular materials combined to create an innovative design; creating architectural merit in the approach to addressing sustainable design.
44 Okoth, J. 2013. The Cultural Exchange Programme. Makerere University. P.12
PROJECT VISIT 2:
PROJECT VISIT 1:
NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE
ST ANTHONYS CHURCH
FIGURE 4.5 (opposite page)
OLD ST ANTHONY’S CHURCH
PROJECT VISIT 1
OLD ST ANTHONYS CHURCH: Location: Ntinda, Kampala Stakeholders: Missionaries, local church Year of completion: Early 20th Century Built with foreign missionary influence in the early 20th Century, this church in its distinctive and expressive form stands in stark contrast beside the modern St Anthonyâ€™s church.
PROJECT VISIT 2
NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE: Location: Ntinda, Kampala Stakeholders: FBW Architects (UK based) with strong presence in East Africa Year of completion: 2007 ‘A new cultural centre advertised as the only true ‘African’ theatre in Uganda. The designers drew inspiration from Ugandan culture, attempting to combine it with modern construction methods and techniques in a quest to provide a modern interpretation of Ugandan Architecture.’45
NDERE CULTURAL CENTRE 45 Olweny, M. 1998. Monumental through Design, Identity by Definition: The Architecture of Uganda prior to Independence. p.181 Available at: http:// www.academia.edu/1068114/Monumental_through_Design_ Identity_by_Definition_The_Architecture_of_Uganda_ prior_to_Independence [Accessed on 7th April 2014]
4.2 Addressing an
architecture for Uganda (Objective 2)
The workshops on Days 3, 4 and 5 addressed Objective 2 in questioning the notion of an appropriate architecture for Uganda at present and in the future. This was explored through the presentation of existing western led projects in Uganda, accompanied by a presentation of Kere Architecture, providing a positive example of success in a hybrid architecture of the Western and vernacular typologies. This was further supported by a project visit to the British High Commission designed by UK practice Cullum & Nightingale, which allowed the students to evaluate on a building that had received international recognition for its successful interpretation and innovation of vernacular architecture
JULY 3RD On July 3rd, I started the day with a presentation of the analysis of the rural, western led projects I researched in 2012 The Internship Reports of the students demonstrate that the rural case studies I presented to them were individually analysed. They not only were able to relate the main points of the projects but also further researched the approaches to sustainable design and drew their own conclusions in relation to the process of executing a project with both local and international stakeholders. This kind of analysis illustrates an awareness of issues
that will enable the students to work with a variety of stakeholders through being able to identify with some of the challenges that have already occurred. This also enforces the themes highlighted in Objective 2 in determining a platform to establish an appropriate solution to an architectural problem. The programme of the workshops provided the students with information on a sustainable agenda for architecture in Uganda. All the case studies and examples illustrated and visited either embraced or ignored sustainable practices with varying degrees of success. The previous research I undertook concentrated on the sustainable approaches by western architects and therefore provided information on successful and unsuccessful attempts to innovate. For the students this was a prioritised part of the programme and was encouraged by both Nnaggenda and Stephen as it supported the curriculum. Conclusive reflections on the initial case studies by the students included:
a collaborative approach, presented in the literature review but also indicate a change of perception directly addressing the aim of the dissertation research. The workshops on Day 3 and 4 allowed us to critically analyse the success and appropriateness of buildings in Uganda through a comparison and contrast of projects. The project visits to the Glubam building and the Bamboo Training Hall were chosen on the basis that they were both on Makerere University Campus and formed two of my earlier research case studies. The attempt by INBAR in both these projects, at an innovative use of bamboo highlights the social, economic and cultural implications of using bamboo in the Ugandan context. The students were previously unaware of the context behind the construction of the buildings, which was interesting as they both reside on their campus.
â€˜Our findings mainly pointed towards emphasizing the fact that collaboration with foreign stakeholders does not necessarily result in a loss of local cultures and trends of exploitation but also leads to enrichment of design and expression, innovation and sharing of skills and technologyâ€™ These perceptions are indicative of a collective analysis of the projects presented; supporting suggestions towards
46 Okoth, J. 2013. The Cultural Exchange Programme. Makerere University. P.17
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, DESIGN, ART & TECHNOLOGY
PROJECT VISIT 3:
SITE FOR GUIDANCE & COUNSELLING CENTRE
PROJECT VISIT 4:
BAMBOO TRAINING CENTRE
AERIAL VIEW OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
PROJECT VISIT 3
GLULAM BUILDING: Location: Makerere University Campus, Kampala Stakeholders: International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Hanan University, China. University of Southern California, USA Year of completion: 2011 This building highlights some of pitfalls of not considering climatic design; with gutters too small the building only 2 years old, was in need of extensive maintenance even when I visited it in 2012. In 2012 the building was also not being used indicating to a lack of purpose in function in its context as well as a lack of communication between donor and receiver. During the workshops the building was in use, although the condition of the building had deteriorated to a greater extent with the exterior walls being significantly damaged
GLUBAM HOUSE FROM 2012 FIGURE 4.9 (opposite page):
GLUBAM HOUSE FROM 2013
PROJECT VISIT 4
BAMBOO TRAINING HALL: Location: Makerere University Campus, Kampala Stakeholders: INBAR, Nepali-Colombian architect duo Nripal Adhikary and Juan Carlos Jaramillo Year of completion: 2010
BAMBOO TRAINING HALL
This project was an important example as it illustrates an admirable effort to innovate with local materials but also highlights the challenges with innovation; student assessments of this project from their Internship Reports projected these points:
‘Surprisingly, the building has no windows but rather has pompei openings allowing natural light to make some beautiful patterns on the floor and providing an allowance for natural ventilation to take place.’ 47
‘The language (of the architecture) becomes distorted when the designer chooses to use steel doors’48 Okoth, reflects on the Bamboo Training Hall: ‘A call for collaboration between local and international professionals is therefore necessary to make an exchange of skills, technology and resources more convenient and successful’49 47 Katuku, M. 2013. Cultural exchange for appropriate architectural design in Uganda. P.35 48
Okoth, J. 2013. The Cultural Exchange Programme. Makerere University. P.17
In the afternoon on July 3rd I also attended the studentâ€™s interim presentations of their group proposals for a Guidance and Counselling centre to be built on campus. (Figure 4.11) It was important that I got involved with what the students were doing outside of the workshops, to enable me to achieve a greater understanding of their work and taught architectural values, as well as contributing towards participant observation. Both Mukiibi Stephen and Nagenda-Musana Assumpta attended the presentations and alongside their comments I tried to play an active part in the feedback and Assumpta commented to the students that my comments were showing continuity between my architectural education and what they were teaching the students. FIGURE
GUIDANCE + COUNSELLING CENTRE GROUP INTERIM REVIEWS
GUIDANCE + COUNSELLING CENTRE STUDENT PROPOSAL
JULY 4TH I started July 4th with showing the students the a video narrated by David Chipperfield about the 2012 Venice Biennale (Figure 4.13) (discussed in 2.3.1) which in discussing the notion of a ‘common ground’ emphasised the reflections of the previous day. Andrew Habasa wrote in his report that the reflections of the formation of a ‘common ground’
with enthusiasm by the students; setting a precedent for cultural and sustainable innovation and of the reports received (a sample of 4) all of them paid particular attention to Kéré’s work, reflecting an admiration and investigation into his work.
‘related to what is taking place in Uganda where we need to get back to our roots and at the same time carefully learn/ embrace other styles of architecture in order to better our own style of architecture.’50
I presented the students with two positive and aspirational practices that I feel exemplify successful intercultural innovation in the form of the work of practice Kéré Architecture and in a project visit to the British High Commission, designed by Cullum and Nightingale Architects. The challenges and unfulfilled architectural intentions of the projects examined the previous day enabled the students to critically compare the reasoning for the comparative success of the British High Commission and the projects of Kéré Architecture. The introduction of architect Kéré (Figure 4.15) was met
FIGURE 4.13 VENICE BIENNALE PRESENTATION
50 Habasa, A. 2013. Cultural Collaboration Workshops. Makerere University. P.35
PRESENTATION + DISCUSSION ON Kéré ARCHITECTURE
PROJECT VISIT 5
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION: Location: Kamokya, Kampala Stakeholders: Kilburn Nightingale Architects, UK architecture practice Year of completion: 2008 ‘The building projects its Britishness while remaining responsive to the local context.’51 Tom Sanya, Ugandan architect
Although difficult to arrange, this project visit provided an excellent insight and example for all of us and we were guided around the building with architectural input, which was very helpful; ‘for most of the students, it stood out as one of the most interesting facilities visited.’52
‘The general thought on the way the architects of this project managed to merge two cultures was that there was a balance that had been achieved by the employment of a modern British design style with local materials and simple architectural features that could be achieved using simple building techniques.’53
Both case studies on Day 4 I feel created ambition in the students in the issue of appropriateness when considering sustainability and suitability of an innovative use of vernacular materials, in creating strategies for passive approaches.
AERIAL VIEW OF BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
51 Sanya, T. 2006. The British High Commission in Kampala. A Building Study. Architects Journal, Vol.223, No.18, May 11, p.26 52 Okoth, J. 2013. The Cultural Exchange Programme. Makerere University. P.21 53
FIGURE 4.17 BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION, KAMPALA
JULY 5TH The visit to Mubende on Day 5 allowed the students to investigate a case study of rural innovation that could be translated into their studio projects and examined Objective 2 in illuminating context appropriate architecture.
AERIAL VIEW OF KAMPALA TO MUBENDE
PROJECT VISIT 6
ST ZOE SECONDARY and VOCATIONAL SCHOOL + Rural biogas project: Location: Kagoma, Mubende Stakeholders: Helping Uganda Schools (HUGS), Manchester based charity, local family Year of completion: Still being built The masterplanning at St Zoeâ€™s School started to address the model of collaborative design in that as a group we all shared ideas and began to start planning on site.
KAMPALA FIGURE 4.19 (opposite page)
AERIAL VIEW OF KAGOMA
KISIMBIRI: BIOGAS PROJECT
ST ZOE SECONDARY + VOCATIONAL SCHOOL
RURAL BIOGAS PROJECT SSEMPIJJA ANDREW, KISIMBIRI FARM
ST ZOE PRIMARY SCHOOL
ANDREW + DON DISCUSSING THE MASTERPLANNING FOR NEW ADMIN/ HEALTH CENTRE/LIBRARY BUILDING
MASTERPLANNING FOR NEW ADMIN/HEALTH CENTRE/LIBRARY BUILDING
methods to facilitate intercultural collaboration Addressing
in Uganda (Objective 3)
This objective was addressed throughout the workshops in the analysis of stakeholders presented in the various case studies and project visits, but also in the model of research for the workshop in its entirety; which provides a model for intercultural collaboration. Referring back to Denscombe’s action research model (Figure 3.3) success in action research can be indicated by whether ‘instigated change’ has occurred. This also stands true for the aim of the research:
‘CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: TOWARDS AN INTERCULTURAL COLLABORATION FOR THE FUTURE ARCHITECTURE OF UGANDA’
The Internship Reports created by the students reveal a lot about what they appropriated from the week, even the titles of their reports provide a variation of interpretations: ‘Cultural Collaboration Workshops’, ‘The Cultural Exchange Programme’ and ‘Sustainability Program’. The reports are reflective of the workshops, as they demonstrate the students interpretation of the workshops, programme and projects; providing a reflective analysis and feedback upon the clarity and level of interest of the week.
It is also worth mentioning that the students were not required to send me their reports and sent them after the workshops at my request; so the students wrote the reports with no awareness that I would read them.The analysis in the Internship Reports constitutes the most valuable research, as they demonstrate a further stage of reflection of the reflection discussed in the workshops. They also indicate the themes and understandings that the students will take forward into their education and practice, which denotes an improvement and a change; a change which as discussed in the Action Research section indicates towards success.
Supporting the perspectives in 2.3.3 Okoth made the following suggestions in reaction to Objective 3
‘The sharing of knowledge between Ugandan and western architects.
The improvement of local skills in building and design as well as professionalism so as to set Ugandan architects on the same level with western architects.
Collaboration with western schools of architecture such that a relationship between the two groups of professionals is built at an early level.’54 Another indication of the influence of the workshops is in the inspiration for the pergola in the Guidance and Counselling Centre, (Figure 4.12) which was taken from the British High Commission, which has a similar pergola visually hiding the car park; this illustrates a dissemination of information and a success in the knowledge exchange intention of the workshops. This kind of interaction represents a simple method that can aid cultural collaboration. A prominent example that the workshops made a change was in the reaction of the students to a presentation given a week after the workshops. The Department of Architecture was approached by Kisenyi Landsharing projects in association with Slum Dwellers International, asking if they could give a presentation on a design proposal for slum upgrading and get feedback from the
students. The strategy involved the creation of a vertical block, and students raised questions about where they expected the rubbish to go, as they predicted that the occupants would just throw the rubbish over the edge. The students relayed the project discussion to me and referred to examples given during the workshops to support the suggestions that they made to Slum Dwellers International. â€˜Within our own research collaboration with Miss Nixon, we got familiar with the research process and how it is important for one to remain focused and organised during research. Miss Nixon had her programme lined up and during all her visits to projects she collected information that contributed invaluably to her findings. Her ability to keep all 16 students interested in a topic that had been chosen by her was simply admirable and had to do with her constant reference to situations and projects that the students could relate with.â€™55
54 Okoth, J. 2013. The Cultural Exchange Programme. Makerere University. P.11 55
A CONSIDERED AND EXTENDED COLLABORATIVE EXCHANGE The aim of this thesis was to understand how CHANGING PERCEPTIONS could contribute TOWARDS AN INTERCULTURAL COLLABORATION FOR THE FUTURE ARCHITECTURE OF UGANDA
precedents within Uganda needs to be addressed in order to encourage and provide precedents for Ugandan students and professionals as well as good intentioned Western bodies.
This was undertaken through three interlinked research objectives:
My contribution to these three key findings is in the demonstration of a considered and extended model for intercultural collaboration; a model that embraces the suggestions above.
1 To understand Ugandan architectural identity 2 To understand what an ‘appropriate’ architecture for Uganda is 3
To understand what methods can facilitate collaboration in the ambition for a holistic and appropriate architectural agenda
‘Within research of any depth, the quality of the research will stand or fall upon the quality of the relationships.’56
The key findings of the research in relation to the three objectives are as follows:
The necessity of an acceptance of historical context by both Ugandan and Western Bodies and a removal of preconceived perceptions through a commitment to intercultural knowledge exchange and understanding to create a resilient platform for collaboration.
2: An innovative, appropriate and sustainable approach to architecture in Uganda demands an intercultural approach provided by collaboration between a variety of both professional and non-professional stakeholders. 3: The current deficiency in literature and availability of successful, intercultural 82
When evaluating the methodological approach of the action research, I think the workshops resulted in an exchange of knowledge on both an informal and professional level; creating a platform of familiarity that provides the potential for successful future collaboration. I feel that the restriction on time for the workshops didn’t prohibit the formation of relationships which was a result of the workshops providing a relatively unpressured cultural exchange, which is often pushed aside in favour of construction. The demands of construction restrict meaningful knowledge exchange on the basis of trust and intercultural understanding. The workshops allowed for a mutual insight into cultural and architectural education for both the
students and I, which provided invaluable in strengthening our relationship. My previous experience in Uganda helped in the organisation of the project visits and provided me with an experience of rural case studies that provided themes that both the students and I could relate to. I feel the framework of research methods and activities in the programme enabled the students to engage in a deeper enquiry, which is reflected by Okoth John Lawrence in his section entitled ‘Lessons learnt’:
1 ‘EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN for example passive approaches to design, use of local materials and methods of construction; as well as a consideration of indigenous cultures and traditions. 2 THE BENEFITS OF COLLABORATING WITH FOREIGN DESIGNERS OR LOCAL DESIGNERS in the practice of architecture. Collaboration was found to foster the use of effective design approaches, manage project costs, create employment opportunities, enable better community relations, improve professional ties and links, as well as enable the creation of architecture that adequately relates with local communities. 3 RESEARCH METHODS AND ATTITUDES: Methods such as frequent sketching, photography, video and audio recording as well as informal engagement with local communities, were some of the research methods used by Miss Rebecca Nixon on her project, which has provided me with ideas to carry out my own research in the future
4 THE NEED TO CONSTANTLY ENGAGE IN THE RESEARCH AND DISCOVERY OF LOCAL KNOWLEDGE ON CONSTRUCTION AND CULTURE: This was inspired by the fact that Miss Nixon was a foreigner and yet being only her third visit to Uganda, she was well informed of interesting architectural projects around the country most of which I am, unfortunately less aware of.’ I hope that in conducting this research I have provided a piece of literature that gives a contextual understanding into Ugandan architecture and the current stakeholders, whilst also promoting a model of collaborating with architecture students and Ugandan professionals, alongside the common model of consultation with the local community. The students were both committed and ambitious and I think that the way in which the students will positively contribute to the future architecture of Uganda in an innovative, sustainable and appropriate manner will depend on the provision of opportunities for them. Similar to the work of Samuel Mockbee’s Auburn University Rural Studio I feel humanitarian work in Uganda could have a greater involvement with Ugandan building industry professionals. In consideration of possible future research I feel like further collaboration with students on a practical project would logically occur next. The restrictions on this however are my lack of knowledge and experience in initiating such a project, and
I would hence be unwilling to do so without first partnering with skilled professionals. This addresses the criticism of unskilled volunteers working abroad, which I was once naively part of when teaching secondary school children straight out of A-Levels. This summer I have been selected to go to Nakuru, Kenya, with the non-profit humanitarian design organisation, Orkidstudio; as part of a team of volunteers we will go to Nakuru for 8 weeks to gift a new orphanage for the St Jerome’s Children’s Home. I have chosen to volunteer with OrkidStudio because of their unique process of design, procurement and construction; alongside community workshops and construction with local labourers. I hope that this experience will not only provide me with practical experience that I am currently lacking, but also enable me to reflect and act upon the research I have undertaken over the last few summers and draw further conclusions.
MASTERPLANNING FOR NEW ADMIN/HEALTH CENTRE/LIBRARY BUILDING 56 Gorman, S. 2006 in Mockler, N. 2006. Local Research, Global Community: Action Research for a New Century. Australia: The University of Sydney p.12 57 Okoth, J. 2013. The Cultural Exchange Programme. Makerere University. P.49
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