Students from Scott Sutherland School have come together with international students from architectural schools in Barcelona, Milan and Reus to embark on the Taifa Letu Tujenge project.

Build Our Nation can be defined as an international initiative involved in several humanitarian projects which was born in April 2011.

This on-going experience relies on rethinking design and rethinking construction in a context which involves Architecture, Built Environment and Building Engineering students from several EU higher education institutions. The framework that has been implemented so far engages workshops, exchanges and live events led by students. Gradually, the leadership has shifted from the hands of the staff to the ones of students. 

A balanced achievement of ethical-oriented education, holistic thinking and up to date connectivity informs the long-term progress of the model: 

Ethical standards and social equity. The project must adhere to the highest ethical standards and sense of responsibility by supporting social equity at all stages, from the design process to the construction.

Contextual impact and holistic thinking. The project must convey a high standard of architectural quality. The aesthetic impact must `interfere` with the cultural and physical surrounding environment.

Innovation and transferability of knowledge. The project must demonstrate breakthroughs and trend-setting educational approaches and must be transferable to a range of other applications. 

TaifaLetuTujenge, meaning “Build Our Nation” in Swahili constitutes the first live built project set in the Build Our Nation framework. Its beginning traces back to a collaboration between Silvia Bassanese, RGU lecturer and Pascal Nshombo Kataraka sociologist from the University du Cepromad Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The brief is to develop a design for a women's community centre in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. This self-built centre commissioned by the local ASFP - Action Solidaire pour la Femme Paysanne - will be a catalyst for social change through a participatory and innovative action involving around 1,000 women from the province.

Us, as students from four Universities across Europe, Aberdeen, Barcelona, Milan, Reus, we have been feeling lucky and honoured to be offered the opportunity to push ourselves to the limit in trying to apply our skills in a totally new environment.

During the 4 Stages developing from April 2011 up to the Venice Biennale in September 2012, we have discussed and perfected design, architectural and engineering problems. Progression has led to a full scale bamboo prototype of the women’s community centre in Bukavu and a Book of non-verbal communication. We are now at the point of looking to implement our proposal in the district of Bukavu, in Democratic Republic of Congo, therefore we are looking for your support.

At the moment, the TLT project is at a stage when we, us students are looking for funding that would be directed towards the purchase of land and materials and towards finding means to travel to Bukavu in Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Aberdeen Group Arrives
    Aberdeen Group Arrives
  • Aberdeen Group with the Final prototype
    Aberdeen Group with the Final prototype
  • Arsenale
    Arsenale
  • Bamboo arriving 1
    Bamboo arriving 1
  • Bamboo arriving 2
    Bamboo arriving 2
  • Bamboo workshop 1
    Bamboo workshop 1
  • Bamboo workshop 2
    Bamboo workshop 2


The beginnings of the build our nation project