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Re-Think, Re-Make, Re-Shape

Part 2 Project 2014
Nick Wright
Leeds Beckett University | UK
Re-Think Re-Make Re-Shape sets out to tackle the well documented problems inherent in developing countries, most notably the impact of HIV, poor education and mass unemployment. The setting for this exploration is a school for orphans in rural Uganda - Good Samaritan Primary School.

I have been involved with Good Samaritan for over seven years, during this time actively pushing construction and infrastructure projects at the school as well as leading UK school groups and charities to assist in the development of the area. I have also spent time within a Ugandan architect’s practice in the country to develop my knowledge and awareness of the specific problems the school faces.

Returning to the school in September 2013, I surveyed the buildings again, discussing the idea of a new dormitory block at the school with the teachers, orphans, and local population. Although a dormitory building is vital for the wellbeing of the orphans a clear set of social challenges arose. The design project aims to address these issues, with a view to improving the education of the children and increase their prospects in a country with one of the world’s highest youth unemployment rates. This project then looks to strengthen not only the children but also the wider community through the creation of skills, education, interaction and dignity.

The project researches and grows from the strong contextual limitations, pushing the possibilities of traditional earth construction and local labour through innovative digital and physical simulation of form and material to create light, delicate structures which are at once site / climate specific, optimal in the minimum use of energy / material and embed, through their spatial disposition, the traditional, cultural strategies of agglomeration.

A direct outcome of this project has been the granting of Rotary funding to improve the sanitary infrastructure at the school, including a new toilet and shower block designed and built using local labour, and the principles of this research during a return trip to the school in July 2014.

These developments aim to give a second chance to a community wounded by poverty, conflict and an HIV pandemic.

Nick Wright


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