Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Amy Kulper

Second Advisor

Anne Tate

Third Advisor

Jonathan Knowles


According to Habitat for Humanity, the impact of poverty on education in East Africa remains one of the biggest challenges faced by the region. Self sufficiency is the most sustainable way to advance a society and is a missing link that would help empower developing communities. This thesis imagines a more accessible network of education for the greater region of Kigoma, Tanzania. It proposes this through a two-step system, the first programmatic, the second architectural. Both strategies seek to strengthen the connection between local and global communities, as an education mission.

The proposed educational network utilizes a Central Hub located within the urban context of Kigoma. This Hub acts as an information collection center, vocational school and community center. Then, through both radio broadcast and physical exchange of materials (a mission inspired by Open Learning Exchange and KICORA), the Central Hub distributes educational materials to Satellite Schools which are strategically placed throughout the countryside. The connection generated is a two-way information flow between global, urban and rural communities.

The proposed architectural language investigates the marriage of native materials with innovative, yet simple design techniques, with the purpose of enriching and simplifying the construction process for local builders, both unskilled and artisan. It seeks to enhance, but not adulterate, vernacular architecture through use of the rammed earth wall and bamboo armature. These local materials are then paired with imported metal and fabric roofs, with strategic technological interventions, which act as an architectural expression of outreach.

While a perimeter security wall is normal and recommended by local leaders, this generates an interesting conundrum for a project which is focused on community engagement and worldly connectedness. Hence, the wall has become a vehicle which embodies outward engagement, through responding to exterior neighborhood conditions and giving back to the adjacent community. Paired with varying roof conditions, the wall accomplishes this through designed moments of porosity, water collection and distribution, shade, performance space, inhabitation, protection and openness.

Included in

Architecture Commons



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