Design for Innovation: Creativity at the forefront of housing, public space and mobility solutions

Design for Innovation: Creativity at the forefront of housing, public space and mobility solutions

A spotlight on projects in Africa driving innovation through design

Creativity and experimentation are central to pioneering new ways of being and doing in urban Africa. It is essential that we draw inspiration from and amplify the innovative and resourceful culture ever-present in African cities. This session investigates projects at the forefront of creative design and problem-solving in housing, mobility, and the public realm.

Antonia Kihara, designer of the new Q/A 80 Bed Apartment Block by  Quarter Acre Developers in Nairobi  will present a proposed net zero affordable housing project that explores how affordable housing  can also be sustainable. Carl Jacobsz, principal architect and founder of  c76 Architects in South Africa, will share how they tackled the expansion of the SHAPA Soweto centre to include more sports in a football stadium.

Nifemi Marcus-Bello, industrial designer and founder of nmbelloStudio, Nigeria, will give insights into the design of  innovative kiosks designed for flexibility in public spaces. Moses Nderitu, CRO at Basi-Go Kenya, will speak about the development of e – mobility in Kenya and how the need for sustainable mobility options has driven innovation.


La conception pour l’innovation : La créativité à l’avant-garde des solutions de logement, d’espace public et de mobilité

La créativité et l’expérimentation sont essentielles à la mise en place de nouvelles façons d’être et de faire dans les villes africaines. Il est essentiel de s’inspirer et d’amplifier la culture innovante et ingénieuse omniprésente dans les villes africaines. Cette session examine des projets à la pointe de la conception créative et de la résolution de problèmes dans le domaine du logement, de la mobilité et du domaine public


Host: Our Future Cities

Nifemi Marcus-Bello

Designer, Founder of nmbelloStudio

Carl Jacobsz

Principal and founder of C76 Architecture

Moses Nderitu

Chief Revenue Officer at BasiGo

Antonia Kihara

Designer and Consultant, Q/A Developers

Moderator: Rashiq Fataar

Director, Our Future Cities

Session Summary

The session ‘Design for Innovation: Creativity at the forefront of housing, public space and mobility solutions’ hosted by Rashiq Fataar investigated four incredible examples of creative problem-solving and innovation across Africa.

The session began with Antonia Kihara, who described a new affordable housing project in Nairobi that draws inspiration from indigenous practices to create an inclusive and sustainable model that embraces minimalism, zero-waste, and encourages sustainable and community-centred living. Similarly, Nifemi Marcus-Bello described his imitative design process, identifying the ‘kiosk’ culture in Lagos and investigating how to create products that support the community and amplify ‘anonymous’ innovations that integrate into people’s everyday lives.

Centring design around community was also reiterated by Carl Jacobsz, who explained the important role of community engagement and communication when designing inclusive and public spaces for sports in SOWETO.

Sustainability was another key theme. Moses Nderitu described the Basi-Go Kenya e-mobility project and the multiple levels of sustainability it encompasses – in terms of the environment and affordability. This linked to Kihara’s minimalist housing design that enabled residents to ‘live greener’.

This session brought to light the multiplicities of African architecture and design and the unusual yet inspiring ways designers observe their local cultural practices on the continent and expand it to create breathtaking practical work.