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Design Miami 2017: the Winner of the Panerai Design Miami Vision AwardWednesday 6 December 2017
Design Miami 2017: the Winner of the Panerai Design Miami Vision Award – The Design Miami 2017 is pleased to announce the Mwabwindo School project as the recipient of the 2017 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award. In its fourth year, the annual award is sponsored by Officine Panerai and celebrates significant contributions to the field of design. This year’s celebrated project is the Mwabwindo School, a project in Zambia, a developing southern-African republic, Join Coveted Magazine and find out more about this year’s awardee!
The Mwabwindo School, which will open in 2018 and serve as a primary for school students in rural southern Zambia, will be the second school in the region developed by the 14+ Foundation, an organization committed to increasing education accessibility in rural African communities, where travel distance to school is one of the biggest impediments to quality education.
“Nchimunya and I were absolutely thrilled to open our first school in January 2015, which has now grown to serve almost 250 students with a fully cost-free education, and includes important community-based projects and programs. Our newest project, Mwabwindo School, designed by Selldorf Architects, represents a meaningful and organic expansion of our projects and programs within nearby rural Zambian communities,” – co-founder of 14+ Foundation, Joseph Mizzi.
The school’s design by Selldorf Architects, New York, is inspired by the tall trees on the surrounding savanna that serve as shaded gathering spaces. The complex will comprise mud-brick classrooms for 200 students arranged around courtyards and covered by a large corrugated metal roof canopy, housing for eight teachers, a vegetable garden, and playing fields. Handmade bricks have been fabricated on site and buildings will be constructed by local masons, providing employment and training opportunities. Rainwater will be collected for use in the garden, solar panels will provide energy for the school and teachers’ housing, and a windmill will power the facility’s well water. The design will also incorporate a mural installation to be created on-site by contemporary artist Rashid Johnson in collaboration with Mwabwindo School students, emphasizing the importance of art-based educational projects and programs.
“Working on the Mwabwindo School has been inspiring for our office; committing to the potential of architecture and beauty to create meaningful change in people’s lives is powerful, and now seeing how the school is coming together and the way the community in Mwabwindo has already taken it on as a point of local pride, is immensely exciting. Design Miami’s recognition of the potential of collaborative and socially conscious design with the Visionary Award will amplify this important message.” – Annabelle Selldorf, principal of Selldorf Architects
The project will also involve providing the larger community of Mwabwindo Village with vital improvements to infrastructure and access to goods and services, including wells and water systems, increased access to medical services, recreational areas, and more.
Mwabwindo Series by Christ & Gantenbein
The Basel-based architecture and design firm Christ & Gantenbein have developed the Mwabwindo Series of furniture for the Mwabwindo School, an adapted design narrative from a previous furniture project, the Athens Series. Based on a simple vernacular object, the stools and tables in this set are made of wooden blocks held together by long cylindrical wooden pegs, without the use of hardware or glue. The fabrication of the pieces relies on the training of local craftsman, who will mill the wooden elements on site and then assemble the furniture. Made from different types of locally sourced wood, the pieces will be used in the school’s library. A simple interlocking system allows the furniture to be arranged in different configurations, adapting to the various needs of the curriculum.
“More than furniture, the Mwabwindo Series is an idea,” said Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein. “It speaks about interpretation and authorship, inviting creative intervention from the craftspeople who will make it and the students and teachers who will create various configurations for learning and exchange.”
A Visionary Project
The Mwabwindo School project embraces the spirit of the Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award perhaps more unique than any other project in the award’s history, offering continued, tangible, and the lasting impact to build community through design. The collaborators, all of whom are donating their services to the project, are committed to the cause of providing not only an inspired place for learning, but also promoting sustainable resource use, arts education, and community building through design.
“Design Miami/ is thrilled to champion the inspiring Mwabwindo School project,” said Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Director, Design Miami/. “This year’s Visionary Award rightly honours the importance of collaboration, an innovative partnership, and the role design can play in influencing positive social change globally.”
“We are excited that this year’s recipients are so aligned with the core values of Panerai’s culture of design, commitment to innovation, and vision for a sustainable future. The Mwabwindo project represents the best of our community coming together to create real change through design.” – Angelo Bonati, chief executive of Officine Panerai.
⇒ RELATED ARTICLE: WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM THE DESIGN MIAMI 2017 ⇐
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