DesignClass is proud to be joining Ubuntu Design Group in the creation of the Ubuntu Architecture Summer Abroad Program. This two-week program in Durban, South Africa. is designed to help students discover the power of architecture to foster diversity & inclusion in a unique community context. The program is a cross-cultural design-build experience for architecture students from around the world to learn a community-centered approach to architecture. Students will design and build dignified and culturally-influenced homes for marginalized families in Durban who were affected by apartheid architecture.
The experience will aim to expose students to design problems stemming from systemic racism in a place beyond their own contexts. As apartheid architecture was used to segregate and oppress, community-centered design will focus on bringing people together and enabling equitable opportunities for all. At the end of the program, participants will be equipped with the tools necessary to implement change in their own communities.
As architects, it is important, and in fact we are trained, to take into consideration the entire environment into which we are designing. Examining existing architecture in the area, accessibility, the path of the sun, the approach to the space, and of course, climate and area become second nature to us very quickly. What we need to also make second nature in our designing and planning is examining the history of a place, the people of a place, and the culture of a place–for everyone.
Ubuntu Architecture Summer Abroad Program does exactly that: It trains the next generation of architects to take a broader view of the impact of their work and consider it more than just creating beautiful functional spaces; it trains us to see, hear, think, and feel beyond the aesthetics and into the community in which it resides.
To learn more about the program, visit UbuntuASA.org