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Blog Posts (119)

  • 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.

  • It happens here! - podcast series available online

    In a new podcast series ‘It happens here’, initiators, experts and facilitators explore in conversation to what extent ‘places’ can change the city. The conversations touch upon ideals and disappointments, support systems and challenges, money and municipality. But mostly, they’re about the fact that things can be done differently: spontaneously, experimentally, and together. In the third episode Marie Morel (AAM), Jessica Dikmoet and Nadia Tillon (Imagine IC) discuss how stories can - or should- change urban development. From Amsterdam to Zanzibar, they have captured stories of residents that showed the relevance of buildings and spaces that - at first glance - might seem aesthetically irrelevant for a professional designer or planner. AAM captured the stories of residents of Ng'ambo that were translated into recommendations for the spatial plan and eventually into the Ng'ambo Atlas Imagine IC unraveled the meaning of an old parking garage for many residents in the South East of Amsterdam that convinced the city of Amsterdam to give residents a voice in the renewal plans. Although in very different locations, the contributors of this episode agree on the need for more diversity in - and equality of - perspectives on heritage. With these different perspectives integrated in urban plans for the future, residents will feel more engaged in the making of their neighborhoods and (re)gain a sense of ownership. The podcast series consists of five episodes and you can listen to all of them by following this link: https://hiergebeurthet.nl/ P.S Unfortunately only in Dutch. The podcast is a part of the postponed exhibition It happens here. #exhibition #Culture #IntangibleHeritage #Zanzibar #Amsterdam #diy #Participatory #UrbanPlanning #Placemaking #HistoricUrbanLandscape

  • Blueprint for Majestic Cinema - every ending is always a new beginning

    On the 15th of February 2021 the Blueprint for Majestic Cinema project funded by Culture at Work Africa and co-funded by the European Union was officially concluded. The end of the project coincided with the official campaign launch of the Majestic Culture Hub initiative and marks an important turning point in the long-standing collaboration between Zanzibar’s leading cultural and social operators: Busara Promotions, (Re)claim Women Space, Zanzibar International Film Festival and Hifadhi Zanzibar Ltd. The overall aim of the project was to gain an in-depth understanding of the social, historical and cultural importance of the Majestic Cinema, create a brand for the culture hub and prepare draft documents that will guide the future restoration of the cinema building. AAmatters contributed to the historical research and the development of a tentative programme for the building and an operational strategy for its future use. The campaign to restore the Majestic Cinema and repurpose it as a culture hub was officially endorsed by the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Madam Leila Muhamed Mussa on the 15th of February during the Majestic Culture Hub event and exhibition. With the support of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Hifadhi Zanzibar Ltd. and the rest of the partners continue the work to ensure that this important part of Zanzibar’s heritage serves the community in the future. You can read more about the Majestic Culture Hub on its website and follow the initiative on the FB page. https://majestichub.co.tz/ & https://www.facebook.com/MajesticCultureHubZanzibar Culture at Work has also prepared an online catalogue showcasing the projects realised as a part of their grant where you can get a glimpse of the event and listen to a short audio on cinema in Stone Town prepared by the students from KAWA Training Centre in Zanzibar: https://www.cultureatworkafrica.art/room5-en All pictures courtesy of Hifadhi Zanzibar Ltd. Video by Sam Kaka

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  • 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; Berend van der Lans and five associates: Iga Perzyna , 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

  • ip | aamatters

    iga perzyna Looking back at the past few years I can conclude that working with AAmatters is a great adventure. back to the team overview Executive associate 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. 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 ​

  • Team | aamatters

    the team iga perzyna Executive associate architectural historian alexandra papadaki Executive associate architect engineer Franka van Marrewijk Executive associate urban planner & designer berend van der lans Director architect marie morel Associate anthropologist, urban planner & researcher Amélie chauvin 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

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