Osborne Macharia (Kenyan, b.1986) of K63.Studio (Kenya/Canada, est.2013), in collaboration with Cave Bureau (Kenya, b.2014)
The technological and social awareness of African millennials has given rise to a new breed of young creatives in the slums of Nairobi. These creatives, thinkers, and makers are into different artistic expressions, but one thing is for sure, they want to make a change in their surrounding and built environment to express who they are. A majority of these millennials either do not have the financial capacity to move to more affluent urban dwellings or have family members depending on them for financial support. The result is people customizing their individual living spaces (most ranging between 15sqm to 20sqm) into inspiring places where they can work, rest and host/entertain. This space is what people call keja—Nairobi slang meaning home. As empty land within informal settlements becomes scarce, will it challenge the creative individual to build above the pre-existing family unit? What will this look like? The solution has to be one of a utopian African future. A pragmatic solution is a functional, modern, culturally aware and situated, personal yet inclusive space. It fits a communal ecosystem interacts more broadly with its environment, and enhances community engagement.
Principal Architect 1: Kabage Karanja (cave_bureau)
Principal Architect 2: Stella Mutegi (cave_bureau)
Artist / Designer: Osborne
Contractor: Ogeto Nyamwaya (Aando Custom Works)