be part of a urban documentary analysing both formal and informal developments in Kagugu, a distinctive neighbourhood of Kigali, Rwanda


The project

We are a team of twenty architects and students of Architecture, from Rwanda and Europe. We want to create the the 1st Rwandan-based research project about Kigali, focusing on formal and informal development.


How can architecture and urban planning have an impact in local development? How can we enhance homegrown solutions to design a better living environment?  Find out some solutions with Learning from Kigali !




Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes Region.  The economy is one of the fastest in Africa. With a 8% GDP growth,Rwanda is at a major point in its history. The population is moving from rural areas to urban ones, where the country is switching from informal to planned cities. Kigali, as the biggest city of the country, is the first to experience those drastic changes.



Kigali is a beautiful and complex city, that is undergoing of a major urbanization. At the fringe of the sprawling patchwork that is Kigali, lies Kagugu a distinctive neighborhood. Eight years ago it was a overgrown forest, today, Kagugu is a mix of big mansions, popular neighborhood and suburban development. It’s easy to see what an interesting sample Kagugu is !


The research will start this June and will last a month.

Our aim is to witness, record and analyze the lives of the people in Kagugu, the space they have created, the interior they have designed, the shop they are using, the path they  have created and the resulting social interactions .  We want to study how the design spaces  and architectures of this neighborhood  shape the lives of its resident.


The project



We choose Kagugu, a district at the edge of the City as our research-area, because the neighborhood perfectly demonstrates what is happening in Kigali.


Kagugu is the result of both planned development and informal one. Kagugu is a blend of many different components : Huge Mansions, informal settlements, planned communities for the middle class, western-style supermarket, local shops and informal vendors. We want to understand how all those components interact and work together and create a community.



We, as young architects and architecture students, should be able to look at our own cities , to understanding what is happening, learn from the field. The aim is to draft homegrown strategies.

We want to share our point-of-view on Kigali with Kigali and the world, because it can be useful for developers, urban planners, universities

We will transcribe the life of the people of Kagugu, this intricate mix of population. We will look both at the Big pictures and littles details. The buildings, the outdoor spaces but also the furnitures, the small, but amazing, corners of Kagugu.



The production of the urban documentary about Kagugu is organised in two parts, one is the field research, the second will be about organizing all the data, we will have collected and setting up the exhibition.



1- Field Research / 2 weeks

The start of the project will be to spend 2 weeks in Kagugu, wandering in the streets, meeting the people living there, contributing to the community by participating to Umuganda ( monthly community work).

During that time, we will start to map, sketch Kagugu, we will also conducts interview with the inhabitants. We will hand-out disposable camera to the population to get their own point-of-view on the places they live in. We want to know Kagugu and its inhabitants by heart

-The Exhibition and Publication / 2 weeks

After the research we will spend 2 weeks to organize all the data, to design the publication, to create physical models of Kagugu, including its houses and interiors.


At the end of those 2 weeks we will organize a first exhibition in Kigali, for the people of Kagugu and for Kigalians, with all the team members and supporters.

We have planed to share this urban documentary, not just in Rwanda, but across the world. We are already in touch with institutions and Schools in Europe to set up the Exhibitions and Conferences this Fall.





The Team


The team is composed of Seventeen Students and  a lecturer of the Architecture Department of the Kigali Institute of Technology. The team will be joined by two young Architects from the Nantes School of Architecture with an expertise on popular neighborhood and urban research.


The research project is supported and endorsed by George Periclès, a design think-tank based in Paris and Kigali, focusing on homegrown solution in Design and Architecture in Africa. The think-tank will provide the logistic in Kigali and share their office spaces.



Why fund it?

Why fund it ?


To start the 1st Rwandan-based research about Kigali, we need you. Without your help the project won’t exist and we believe that this one-of-a-kind project.

Here how we will use the fund :

Models production ( foam, glue, blades, metal sheets ) 1700 euros

Exhibition cost ( billboard and pictures printing, shelves production, … )  2500 euros

Publication printing ( printing cost for the publication. It will be printed in Rwanda ) : 2300 euros

Travel expenses and transportation costs for team (plane tickets, bus and taxi-moto ride for the team) 2600 euros

Disposable Cameras to hand to local residents  : 200 euros

Filming equipment : 500 euros


total : 9800 euros




Guillaume Sardin

I'm a 26-year old Architect, living in Rwanda; where I lecture and research about the local culture and architecture. I'm a member of George Periclès Design Think-Tank, focusing on Cultural Design and Home-Grown solutions. After 2 years collaboration with the Students of the Kigali Architecture Department, we decided to start the 1st Rwandan-based...

FAQ Questions about the project

+ Who is on the team

The team is made of Rwandan architecture students, they will be the 1st Rwandan architects trained in the country ! So far Seventeen of them are on the team, they are 4th and 3rd year students. Then 3 young architects from France will take part in the project, counting me.

+ Will the exhibtion just be held in Kigali ?

No, we are discussing with organisations and schools in Europe and America . If you want to have the exhibition in your town or school, just contact us !

Newest comments

Projet fort intéressant, goût artistique prometteur la qualité de la vidéo de présentation et sa musique de fond en témoignent.
ca y est ! maintenant j'espère que vous atteindrez la cagnotte histoire que je puisse voir mon nom sur la liste des contribbuteurs :D