• African Design Centre Fellowship Opens To Applications

"We believe that socially-minded designers, bolstered by entrepreneurial thinking, can multiply access to dignified solutions."
Mass Design Group

Mass Design Group's Bauhaus of Africa recently opened its doors in Rwanda to applications. 

African Design Centre Fellowship Opens


As Africa’s cities experience explosive growth, the continent will need designers to build critical infrastructure in a sustainable way. Otherwise, health and environmental crises will undermine the continent’s potential. MASS is creating the African Design Centre to train the next generation of human-centered designers.

Christian Benimana, a Rwandan architect and designer at MASS, made a keynote speech at a summit last year on behalf of the group explaining the motivation for the new centres. Benimana is one of very few African architects: he points out that Italy alone has 153 000 designers, in comparison to only 35 000 across the whole African continent. The ADCs will be a step towards closing this deficit.

African Design Centre Fellowship Opens

“My audacious dream is to create the first African Design Centre,” says Benimana. “We need architectures and builders… We need systems designers, we need product designers, doers and makers, we need a whole community of human-centred African designers.” The ADCs will offer two-year fellowships to the most promising graduates, supported by leading intellectuals from across the world. The graduates from the ADCs will be placed in government organisations to drive and inform policy making, will be at the head of future educational institutions to pass their skills on to new generations, and will create business that will create jobs that will drive the economy. “If we ignore who designs the African cities and how, we are doomed to see the worst environmental degradation, the worst economic inequality and the worst public health disasters. We have to build the creative leadership that is going to make Africa equitable and just. Because that is the only future we want for Africa.”

African Design Centre Fellowship Opens

The Program seeks to pursue the training in the following ways;
Design-Build: Under the guidance of project managers, Fellows will experience projects through the four stages: Community Engagement, Design, Construction, and Evaluation. Fellows experience first-hand the benefits of impact driven design and the power of incorporating Local Fabrication in the building process. Fellows will gain experience in all aspects of the building process, from structural systems to working hand-in-hand with craftsmen to build furniture.

African Design Centre Fellowship Opens

Research: Under the guidance of faculty, fellows will work independently and in teams to study some of the most pressing issues on the continent including urbanization, climate change, and social equity to name a few. Fellows will also focus on building technology science to study and develop new contextually optimized products and processes to address these wide ranging issues. Research will be carried out with the goal of integration into government policy.

Seminars: Fellows will participate in classroom based lectures and workshops to build their technical skills and a background in theory. Building upon the interdisciplinary nature of the group, fellows will continue to broaden their horizons working with craftsmen and artisans. Soft skills such as leadership will also be a core aspect of the ongoing skill development.

  • Butaro Hospital/ MASS Design Group

  • In January 2011, the Rwandan Ministry of Health and Partners In Health (PIH) opened the 140-bed Butaro Hospital in the Burera District of Rwanda. Burera District, which has a population of over 340,000, has historically had very poor health indicators compared to other areas of Rwanda and is o...


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