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The Community Joins in on Design Planning:

posted Jan 11, 2013, 3:12 AM by Aleeka Kay Edwards
We are excited to share news that, last night, Rwanda Village Enterprises (RVE) hosted part one of a two part evening charrette at the PIH Training Center focused on housing issues and opportunities.  For this housing portion of the charrette, we were hoping that as many as 60 people would participate but, to our surprise, we had more than double our expected participants and we turned away more than 30 people because we were at maximum capacity.  Even though we are big believers in this inclusive approach and know how well it works, the enthusiasm for the charrette process here in Rwinkwavu has far exceeded our expectations and the drawings and ideas that the participants produced are simply amazing and will be invaluable as we continue to develop this project with them and for them.  From what we have already observed, we are confident that the participants of this charrette process will design houses that are safer, healthier, and more sustainable than many other available, existing housing options in the area. Tonight, we will host the same group for a follow-up charrette so they can translate their ideas into preliminary design concept for housing. On Friday, 50 participants will gather to envision a new master plan for Rwinkwavu and help prioritize community development ideas including improved infrastructure, better access to education within Rwinkwavu, and additional opportunities for more economic activity though co-ops, market spaces, and the like that should help Rwinkwavu continue to build.  

To organize this effort, RVE has collaborated with T. Luke Young, an architect and urban planner who has facilitated this kind of community-based charrette in places like the US, Haiti, Chile, Columbia and, now, in Rwanda. Our team also includes Sam Keller and Bruce Engel, architects from Sharon Davis Design, who will interpret and integrate the community's ideas to produce a master plan for the RVE project and housing model concepts that reflect the priorities of the community and that build on this charrette process. In addition to T Luke, Sam and Bruce, we have 6 architecture students from KIST who are helping to both translate and facilitate the hands-on, community workshops. Finally, Fredrick King, a documentary film-maker is here to document the entire process so that we can share the charrette concept with others who are not familiar with it and to capture all the ideas raised by the community so we can reference them moving forward. 

All the best,
Brian Halusan
Country Director