Inno-Native Design:

Locally Contextualized Solutions

One main challenge in design is staying true to spaces’ identities, displacing indigenous groups and customs. In Africa, to overcome this challenge means that there should be the utilization of resources that are readily available on the continent and are well suited for the environmental, political, social, and economic landscapes. This panel will explore local adaptations of products and services to solve specific development problems throughout Africa.

The most remarkable aspect of innovative design is the adaptation of local natural environment conditions to solve social problems. For instance, Ghanaian poor urban residents are switching from costly cement imports to build their mud homes and instead using cheap bamboo stalk contraptions that greatly improve thermal insulation and humidity regulation. In the Makoko slums of Lagos, rising water levels increasingly make the environment inhospitable. Nigerian architect, Kunle Adeyemi constructed a floating three-story school powered by rainwater collection and solar panels. Kenya’s Maasai women have formed solar energy collective's forming a market of cheap solar panels and other energy-efficient equipment which are transported by donkey across villages to improve rural homes. This panel will explore the movement of suitable alternative design without losing touch of the community needs and its readily available resources.



Chair: Nzinga Biegueng Mboup

Nzinga Biegueng Mboup is currently practicing architecture at Adjaye Associates in London. Originally from Senegal and Cameroon, she obtained her Bachelor’s at the University in Pretoria and subsequently moved to London in 2012 to pursue a Master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Westminster in London. Having previously worked in Johannesburg and Dakar, her interests and work have always been centred on socially and culturally relevant architectural practices on the African continent.

ola uduku

Dr. Ola Uduku is a Reader in Architecture and Dean International for Africa, at the University of Edinburgh. Her research specialisms are in the history of educational architecture in Africa and the contemporary issues related to social infrastructure provision for minority communities in cities in the ‘West’ and ‘South’. She is also involved in research relating to environmental analysis and measurement tools for educational and third sector uses. She is also Director of the M.Sc. Programme in Urban Strategies and Development, teaches an elective on African Cities, and is involved in undergraduate teaching and research in Environmental Design. Additionally, Dr. Uduku is a founding member of ArchiAfrika and remains involved in their education committee, which is committed to improving architectural education and the knowledge of contemporary architectural history in Africa.


kunle adeyemi

Kunlé Adeyemi is the founder & principal of NLÉ and a Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. His firm's overarching aim is to bridge critical gaps in human, urban and infrastructure development by creating networks and solutions that are closer to broader societal, environmental and economic needs. His works includes Makoko Floating School, Serpentine Summer House in London, Waterfront Atlas in Venice and the African Water Cities research project.

maxwell mutAnda

Maxwell Mutanda makes up one half of the design firm Studio [D] Tale, based out of London, Harare and Cape Town. The firm experiments across disciplines with a portfolio that includes architecture, urban exploration, production innovation to critical design and communications. Studio [D] Tale have showcased work at the Young Architects in Africa exhibition, a collateral event at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014. Additionally, in 2015 Studio [D] Tale featured projects and work for: Architecture and Identity at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, as well as at Arc en Rêve in Bordeaux and the London Design Festival. Maxwell is also a visiting lecturer at the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at University of Cape Town, South Africa and has been a guest critic at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.


thomas aquilina

Thomas Aquilina is a designer and researcher based in Cambridge. He has practiced and researched architecture and urban design for studios in London, LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and at the United Nations agency UN-Habitat in Nairobi. Thomas’ on-going research explores the architectures of downtown African cities, particularly focusing on the emergent social implications of everyday spatial practices


Research Paper

Kenneth Fullerton -

A Critical Analysis of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP)

Kenneth Fullerton worked for Positive Planet, a French based international non-profit organisation, whose mission it “is to help men and women across the world create the conditions for a better life for future generations.”He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Otago, New Zealand, a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies from the University of New South Wales, Australia and a Master of Public Management (MPM) degree from the University of Potsdam, Germany.