WAZO is a design institute in the Kayafungo location of rural Eastern Kenya. They provide design and business workshops to foster social entrepreneurship and product development in East Africa.
WAZO is a design institute in the Kayafungo location of rural Eastern Kenya. They provide design and business workshops to foster social entrepreneurship and product development in East Africa. To offer their workshops, WAZO partnered with 12 members of the Kenyan NGO Muthaa Community Development Foundation, a youth-led organization that provides programs promoting positive community change through self-empowerment. WAZO’s first venture focused on footwear; specifically, a protective shoe made using the local “kiri-kiri” production practice of repurposing old car tires. WAZO’s entrepreneurship courses and product development tools helped participants generate income and build the capacity to launch future projects.
WAZO also provided three months of paid training in the design thinking process, and hosted workshops on business development and financial literacy that were conducted by Equity Bank. WAZO participants sold over 20 pairs of shoes and made a significant profit to support their continued shoe production. WAZO also awarded materials, a stipend, and one-month internships to three young men and three young women so they could continue producing shoes to generate income.
“We are so excited and proud of the team, and can’t wait to hear about the future!” – WAZO, IMPACT Awardee 2011
Working to improve dormitory space at the Dolores Shelter in San Francisco, Interior Design students planned spaces to empower improve privacy for transgender guests.
The “Dolores Shelter Program” introduced students to the principles of interior systems and spatial concepts through the creation/ development of 3D built and virtual spaces. In partnership with the Dolores Shelter Program [DSP], students undertook space planning and organization to empower DSP’s transgender population while improving the over-crowded dormitory and inefficient office/ common spaces. Students researched DSP’s site, conducted workshops, developed, and pitched proposals to the site Director to develop design concepts.
Students produced models to help visualize the design potential uncovered at the shelter and presented them to the Dolores Shelter administration. DSP staff was deeply invested in the ENGAGE project, and built close relationships with the students through regular feedback on designs and attending desk critiques at California College of the Arts. DSP Director Marlon Mendietta was so excited about the student’s designs for space saving furniture and privacy-providing bunk beds that he shared the ideas with shelter directors from across California. Assistant Professor Amy Campos has also presented this project at a variety of conferences in the U.S. and the U.K.
Most recently published as a case study in the compendium, Architecture Live Projects: Pedagogy into Practice. (Routledge, 2014).