Final presentations at middle school in Utrecht

We held the last of the four sessions of the Dream House project at the Trajectum College in Utrecht for this school year. This session was lively as always, and the boys and girls eager to show their ideas, stories and art.

This time they experimented with perspective drawing techniques and drawing floor plans to scale. It is really amazing to see hidden talents uncovered, because some designs show remarkable maturity.

We had extra guests: the class mentor and the new school director. Ofcourse they joined in the traditional ‘Vote for your favorite’ competition. And somehow they and Kria voted for the same house…

Next year we are looking to develop the course further, involving job orientation in technology and construction, together with the municipality of Utrecht.

Exploring one of many bidonvilles in Dakar

Thanks to the research and contacts of Chloe Charreton, Kria was introduced to Papa Diakhate. Born in St Louis in the north, he and his parents moved to the big city of Dakar, like so many in the neighborhood.

Especially during the drought of the 1980s rural immigrants sought refuge in the city. And they found open areas they could build their houses. They did not know this used to be the bottoms of a series of lakes in the dunes of Dakar. The location is reasonably close to the city and all the employment opportunities, so more people kept coming in.

But when the rain and the water returned, the neighborhood simply floods. And this happens basically every year. Papa Diakhate mobilized the neighborhood to safe what they can and reinforce houses. And if all fails people are evacuated to the local school.

Is there a way to sustainably and structurally improve the situation?

Learning from the Slums @ Pakhuis de Zwijger

Lessons from Rwanda

We are part of a nice selection of pioneers in slum upgrading that is gathering at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. We are going to discuss what modern cities of today can learn from the infamous, unplanned and challenging chaos that is a slum; and what citizens can learn from the resourceful communities that inhabit these informal settlements.

Tickets(free) available for 26 June 2017: