Africa News Bulletin

How does architecture impact society?

For many, when the subject of architecture is mentioned, they associate it to destruction of environment or just the simple fact of building houses. But it is more than that, our very history shows how mankind has been an architectural artist from the start; the earliest man lived in a cave. Shelter was that need that pushed many to understand that man could live in a secure and safe place with absolute privacy. War pushed many armies to build walls to protect themselves and their nations.

Murindangabo, an architect who resides in Kigali City, believes that architecture is a necessity.

“There are types of environmental architecture that preserves and designs it to be more sustainable and attractive. The mindset and ignorance around the subject means it is being misused, instead of building and preserving, it is destroying,” said Murindangabo.

He added that architecture can be used to recycle certain resources and use natural means to protect our environments and build an attractive infrastructure.

“Architecture offers an identity to a country, there are certain buildings one may see and immediately know which country they can be found.” He said anything that can be built will have an impact on the society itself, it portrays the essence of that culture and infrastructure is one of the factors that shows the level of a country’s development.

“Our system of education needs to start initiatives of basic subjects to be built in primary and secondary schools to enhance students’ creativity and teach them our country’s development of infrastructure, since it’s is in their hands.” Said Murindangabo.

Patrick Ubwimana, an architect, emphasized on the interaction between the environment and architecture. For anything that is going to be built, it has to disrupt its surroundings. “We have to be aware that we are implementing the wishes of our clients, and there is a way architecture can complement the environment,” said Ubwimana.

He mentioned that one’s house is reflection of their identity, and it so applies to a country. And therefore, a lot is yet to be done for our own architecture to be used to protect our environment, but there are a lot of structures that have been built in Rwanda to represent what we stand for as a nation. There are however, many stereotypes that surround the subject: such as that it is a subject for the rich people or for foreigners.

“There should be educational awareness in many schools and establishments in Rwanda for many are still not aware that there are Rwandan architects and such responsibilities are handed over to foreign architects and it is loss to all of us as a country.” Said Ubwimana

He has witnessed how science is one of the factors that has influenced in the development and evolvement of architecture all over the world and so the way our country has advanced technologically and so our own architecture should be mounting to another level as well.

“Architecture is a right and a necessity to every citizen in a country, it offers shelter, security and a means to earn a living. A good house can help in saving money for it doesn’t need continuous remodeling,” he said.

According to Ivan Tresor Mulisa, a student at IPRC says architecture hasn’t been established in many schools in Rwanda, it is only found at University of Rwanda. He believes that the subject ought to have more faculties to give it access to many students.

“Architects in Rwanda are discouraged when many institutions and contractors are hiring foreign architects for major jobs and that is a lack of trust in our education and citizens,” Mulisa adds.

He emphasized on that every subject can be shaped to follow certain conditions and rules, and so architecture can be established to preserve the environment. Architecture isn’t just about building houses but offering shelter and preserving history in a modern way.

Original story on The New Times

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