Kigali Master Class with professor Peter Rich (South Africa) started at Urban Mill

The Chair of Public Buildings at the Aalto University, Department of Architecture, is organizing a KIgali Master Class with professor, architect Peter Rich (South Africa) in the spring term of 2014 at Urban Mill, with the generous support from Asko Foundation. Master Class Seminar kick-off was held January 14th on the Urban Scene. Students start their intensive work at Urban Mill on Fri 14.2.2014.

The Master Class will take students to Kigali, capital of Rwanda, to learn about the features of a foreign culture, and to work with disadvantaged local communities. The design task will be a public building for an existing need, using participatory planning processes and collaboration with local people.


The focus of the course is on community empowerment through participation, sustainable design solutions and culturally knowledgeable architecture. The course includes studies on local building traditions and materials, as well as social, economic and climatic characteristics of the local culture.

The course aims at providing the students with a wider perspective and understanding of the processes of the architectural practice when working in various cultural contexts. It also aims at developing the students’ value system and sense of responsibility.

14.1.2014 Kick-off seminar programme:

9:00      Welcoming words                                             Saija Hollmén
9:15     Rwandan Culture, History and Present              Peik Johansson, journalist
10:30    Rwanda – The Star of Africa                            Thomas Elfgren, chief inspector
11:45    Lunch
12:45    Features of African architecture                        Marie-Alphonse Liwata, architect
14:15    Building in Tropical Savannah Climate              Genku Kayo, energy engineer
15:15    Coffee Break
15:30    Ukumbi approach                                            Saija Hollmén, Helena Sandman
Designing architecture in the world majority context, Laufen Manifesto
16:00    Class assignment & course practicalities.         Saija Hollmén, Helena Sandman
16:30    Reference projects (student presentations)
18:00    Discussions, end of seminar


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