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Blog Posts (121)

  • Our participatory tool at the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienn!

    2022 is the year of the «Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne», a major cultural event where designers, researchers, intellectuals and art lovers from all over the world come together to question and discuss the practice of design and experiment with its various methods. The 12th edition of the biennale will be running from the 6th of April to 31st of July under theme of "Bifurcations". Bifurcating means to abandon one direction in order to explore another one. Our lives are a series of bifurcations and through this theme, the biennale wants to highlight innovative, inspiring, creative, collective or individual practices that are developed when the unexpected enters our lives and challenges our habits and living environment. According Olivier Peyricot, the scientific director of the Bienniale, “with 7 exhibitions and more than 150 events, the Biennial invites a collective reflection on the capacity of design to accompany these changes. Whether it is a critical and forward-looking tool, an inventive method or a cultural phenomenon, design is being debated in Saint-Étienne.” And guess what? Africa – a continent at the heart of the contemporary ecological and political issues - is the guest of honour of this year’s edition. Inspiring practices from the continent will be the focus of one of the seven exhibitions featuring in the biennale. For us, this event offers the possibility to highlight one of the strategic tools we use in participatory urban planning: the "Design your own house" game board. This object has become an effective way to collect information in a playful way and to overcome language and/or cultural barriers. Visitors will also have the chance to have a closer look at our latest publication “Ng’ambo Atlas, Historic Urban Landscape of Zanzibar Town’s ‘Other Side’”. For more information see the website: https://biennale-design.com/saint-etienne/2022/

  • With a year’s delay the exhibition ‘It happens here’ finally opens its doors to the public

    Can you plan do-it-yourself culture? How do you design a street with the entire neighbourhood? And how do you renew a city without losing the old one? Discover how to make a city together at ‘It happens here.’. ’It happens here.’ is a 30-day long manifestation that celebrates initiative, experiment and interaction in urban planning. With an exhibition and a diverse programme in the monumental Amstelkerk in Amsterdam. Discover how citizens, pioneers, countercultures, architects and city planners are making the new city together. By giving space to self-building and unplanned renewal and by recognising the value of what is originally there, inhabitants remain owners of ‘their’ city. ’It happens here.’ is an initiative of Stadsherstel Amsterdam, African Architecture Matters, Space&Matter, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the City of Amsterdam. The space between the beaten tracks is where it happens. Come by and wander through the stories of the collective city. An important part of the exhibition includes the presentation of the Ng’ambo Atlas, that has been developed by the Government of Zanzibar and AAmatters, and presents the results of the collaboration between Zanzibar, Amsterdam, UNESCO and AAmatters. The Ng’ambo Atlas exhibition was also presented in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in 2019. In the context of the exhibition, debates and workshops are organised. Welcome to the Amstelkerk from October 29th to November 21th. Specially interested? Join us on the 19th November for a special viewing with the curators and makers of the exhibition! It happens here. October 29th to November 21th Amstelkerk Amsterdam Opening hours exhibition: Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00 Sunday 21st November 13:00 -17:00 Free admission For reservations and programme updates, please send an email to: hiergebeurthet@stadsherstel.nl More information here

  • join us in the next Localtalks session!

    Coming Wednesday, Localworks is hosting another of its special online sessions: Localtalks. This time the topic is based on preserving architectural heritage in East Africa. The event discussion will be preceded and guided by two presentations. The first presentation will explore specific examples of architectural heritage in Kampala, Uganda. It will be led by Timothy Latim, an independent photographer and designer who has experience documenting Ugandan heritage buildings. He will share his observations and findings about selected buildings and the roles they have played in society. Following this, the focus will shift to the practicalities behind preserving architectural heritage across East Africa. This angle is to be presented by our own Iga Perzyna and Berend van der Lans. They will share some challenges behind preserving heritage before unpacking potential tools and strategies for implementing preservation in the East African context. Some of the questions that will be brought to the discussion table are: How can you protect a building that is threatened by developments when people are unaware of its historical importance? What type of decision making and management is needed to protect the integrity and cultural significance of existing buildings in the future? How do you prevent an old building from becoming redundant or a financial burden? You can register for the event following this link And click here to find more information on Localtalks and their mission.

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Pages (67)

  • Team | aamatters

    the team iga perzyna Director architectural historian alexandra papadaki Executive associate architect engineer Franka van Marrewijk Executive associate urban planner & designer Amélie chauvin Executive associate architect marie morel Associate anthropologist, urban planner & researcher berend van der lans Associate architect our pool of experts Antoni Folkers architect / co-founder of AAM aurora kazi bassett history of cities and city planning / project manager Brendan Culley social geographer / urban project manager Marloes Hamelink cultural anthropologist / qualitative researcher belinda van buiten architect / artist Immanuel Kwaku Sirron-Kakpor architect Sarah Benbouazza architect & urban planner / intern Nicole bolomey heritage and landscape specialist antie kaan project and mediatheque support Steven Zijlstra real estate / project manager / researcher Rachel Jenkins visual & communication strategies network

  • ip | aamatters

    iga perzyna Working with AAmatters is a great and rewarding adventure. Director architectural historian Iga Perzyna holds a master degree in Architectural History from Bartlett School of Architecture and in Historic Conservation from Oxford Brookes. During her studies in London she was briefly involved as an intern at Bukka. Her master thesis from Bartlett looked at the government buildings in Monrovia, Liberia in the context of the post-independence nation building processes taking place in Africa. After graduating in 2014 she worked for the 0047 gallery in Oslo and collaborated on the Conservation Area Statement Proposal–Sagene/Akerselva with the Cultural Heritage Management Office of the City of Oslo. In 2017 she joined the polish NGO Inicjatywa Miasto dedicated to placemaking and revitalisation of public spaces in cities. Iga is working with AAmatters since 2015. back to the team overview projects involved Iga is usually responsible for project coordination and research, from time to time she writes and/or assists in writing project proposals and occasionally pens an article on subjects related to AAmatters’ work. Ng’ambo Tuitakayo FINDING STORIES THe Beeker Method: Planning and Working on the Redevelopment of the African City: Retrospective Glances into the future NG'AMBO ATLAS Uganda Museum ‘Keeping It Modern' BLUEPRINT FOR MAJESTIC CINEMA CULTURE HUB Hifadhi Zanzibar SEOUL BIENNALE EXHIBITION ​

  • About | aamatters

    African Architecture Matters is a not-for-profit consultancy working with the African built environment in the fields of heritage, planning, research and education We are particularly concerned with the question of how to manage and develop the dynamically changing built environment with respect to the community, culture and history. By collaborating with people and organisations from various disciplines we explore and develop multidisciplinary strategies and interventions that respond to that question. MISION & VISION Our mission is to develop, deliver and promote sustainable, socially inclusive and culturally sensitive projects concerned with the broadly understood historical and contemporary African built environment. We want to be a go-to partner for those who wish to create sustainable, socially inclusive and culturally sensitive urban environments in Africa. APPROACH Our approach is integrated, multidisciplinary and emphasizes an open and continuous dialogue with our stakeholders. We always work in association with local partners. Through our projects we seek to contribute to local capacity building and knowledge transfer by intensively involving communities, scholars, governmental parties and the private sector. Collaborative; our projects are always undertaken in partnership with organizations with strong local ties – on equal basis and aiming at strengthening capacity – and/or organizations with the right expertise. Context sensitive; context and local conditions are the basis for project setups, processes and outcomes. Our project strategies are formed by the context, not the other way around. Practise oriented; our projects and studies are always oriented towards implementation and do not remain theoretical exercises. Research by design, design by research; we believe in the power of design and use design as a tool for communication and testing of theory. It makes projects and processes tangible and helps the interaction with peer groups. It is faster, cost effective and project funds are not finished before a design result has surfaced. Open source, sharing; as an NGO with a public goal, we aim to share all project results and outcomes publicly to contribute to the general knowledge on sustainable urban development with a specific focus on Africa. Accumulating expertise; our experience in design, planning and activism related to Africa’s built environment spans over 30 years providing a fruitful basis for our services – and it keeps expanding. Proactive in project creation; we are always looking for innovative challenges and opportunities that contribute to the development of sustainable urban development. We take initiatives to build alliances, partnerships and start projects with the aim to support this. What we do We have a wide range of expertise in the fields of heritage, planning, research and education and assist our partners, clients and stakeholders in various activities that support inclusive, sustainable and culturally sensitive urban development and dissemination of knowledge on the historical and contemporary African built environment. You can expect us to deliver outputs that are based on research and expert analysis and take into account the physical, historic, social and policy context in which we are working. Our services and activities Mapping and recording of urban landscapes Drafting of local area plans Built heritage and heritage planning and management advice Interactive community consultations Institutional capacity building Designing and curating exhibitions Development and implementation of workshops, events, conferences Project management and coordination Structure AAMatters’ team is composed of a director; Iga Perzyna and five associates: Berend van der Lans , Amélie Chauvin , Marie Morel , Alexandra Papadaki and Franka van Marrewijk . The team meets regularly to discuss ongoing affairs, what projects to take on and to develop and review general operations and strategies. The daily management of the AAMatters is in the hands of a smaller executive team. ​ The Supervisory Board oversees and advises on the organization and makes sure that AAmatters’ mission and objectives are upheld. The Board is consulted on a regular basis (at least bi-annually) and approves policies, budgets and the accountancy. The Supervisory Board is comprised of: ​ Ben Christiaanse , Chairman and Former CEO of NMB Bank Tanzania and at present holding several supervisory functions in Africa. Reinier Hietink , Treasurer and VP Global Key Accounts Greif Inc. Martien de Vletter , Secretary and associate director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture ​ History AAmatters was established in 2010 by Antoni Folkers and Berend van der Lans . It began as an NGO with the mission to share knowledge on the African built environment through practice and activism. Over the years it grew into an organization with many collaborations and international partners working on its projects. Prior to the establishment of AAMatters, in 2001, Antoni and Berend founded ArchiAfrika with Belinda van Buiten , Janneke Bierman and Joep Mol. ArchiAfrika is a platform for dialogue and knowledge on the African built environment. The NGO moved its base to Ghana in 2012, and is since then run by Joe Addo and his team. ?Do you want to work with us !Don’t hesitate to get in touch network team

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