The Boston-based nonprofit design firm MASS Design Group hopes to see the number of professional designers in Africa grow. To that end, the firm has unveiled a plan for an architecture and design school in Rwanda called the African Design Center.
Founded in 2010, MASS already has experience in developing areas around the world, including building a number of schools, medical clinics, and houses in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. Its latest project, the African Design Center, will also lie in the sub-Saharan area of Kigali, Rwanda, where the firm already has an office.
Currently, the firm is raising money for the project with the aim of opening next year. The school will also teach outside of the design discipline with classes available for networking and business development. If a success, MASS will emulate the project in other areas, implementing more schools in the region and hopefully the continent.
According to its website, MASS views sub-Saharan Africa as an area that is set for “unprecedented urban growth,” and such investment will help develop the economy of the area. More importantly, the project provides “critical new infrastructure such as housing, schools, and clinics.” MASS’ Africa office also realized that the continent’s growth requires creative services to design future hospitals, schools, and housing.
Africa contributes less than one percent to the global creative economy, and it’s hoped that the school will nurture the young designers who will form the new sub-Saharan Africa. MASS described the project as the “Bauhaus of Africa.”
MASS isn’t the only firm delving into the fertile land of Rwanda. Recently Norman Foster announced a proposal for a drone station to supply emergency medical equipment and act as a form of trade route in the area.