Some 31 students taking part in the Masters course 'Reality Studio' visited UN-HABITAT last month in order to get input for their course work and projects.
The trans-disciplinary course is a collaboration between UN-HABITAT, Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden and two Kenyan Universities, Bondo University and Maseno University. Reality Studio is one of the original university collaborations of UN-HABITAT, and has a close cooperation with the Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure Branch.
The course has been visiting UN-HABITAT since 2005, and has in cooperation with the Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure branch published a series of pocketbooks documenting their projects and work process. Recently the course won third prize in CUMULUS "Young Creators for Better City & Better Life" Anniversary Exhibition, hosted by Tongji University in Shanghai, China.
Reality Studio is based on the potential of design disciplines to employ an investigative creative approach when addressing the increasing complexity that designers, architects, planners, managers, politicians and other city actors must cope with in today's cities.
The design approach of the studio aims at facilitating communication between disciplines and academic levels, as well as explore interesting exchanges of sustainable solutions applied in northern or southern contexts. The goal is to find new sustainable design and planning strategies, based on a demand-driven design process which is anchored within a specific context but drawing inspiration from a global point of view.
Each year the studio goes for a two-month field-study, and this year it went to Kisumu, Kenya, where the students analyzed local issues and propose locally specific solutions for sustainable development. This year's main themes are 'marketplaces', 'eco-tourism' (in connection to pilot projects of the 'Kisumu Interaction Platform') and 'museum development/cultural heritage' (connected to National Museums of Kenya, Kisumu).
Reality Studio will exhibit the students' results when they come back to UN-HABITAT on 5 April 2011. The exhibition will also be available during the Governing Council between 11-15 April 2011.
For more information on the Reality Studio, contact firstname.lastname@example.org