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About

Active Social Architecture

ASA, short for Active Social Architecture, represents the founders’ and partners' belief and commitment to the social value of architecture. The young practice, based in Kigali, Rwanda, established by two European architects and scholars, Tomà Berlanda and Nerea Amorós Elorduy, is the first step of a collaborative network aimed at bringing together a multidisciplinary team across different fields and continents. ASA works in close collaboration with all of them to achieve quality and excellence in architecture and design, concentrating on elements that improve people's livelihoods, strengthen and empower communities and their sense of identity. Among our clients are organizations such as local and international NGO's, social enterprises, UN agencies focused on both local and global communities.

Projects and built works reflect ASA's belief in the richness and complexity of schemes drawn from, and responding to, the specificities of sites, programs and users bringing innovation through spatial composition, and the adaptive use of local materials and techniques. Architecture is understood as a creative means to problem solving, providing cost effective solutions that are attractive, affordable and improve upon the existing environment.

Design is approached in a holistic manner and seeks to add value to community-based projects both in Rwanda and abroad. In order to have a strongbase developed, each and every project is rooted on a research by design, based in findings that come up from the same communities, the vernacular architecture and an intense research of precedents and context. The ensuing process is a constant interaction of stakeholders’ participation, architectural practice and research.   

Each member of ASA is dedicated to the approach that design is a tool to empower communities and lead to a stronger, prosperous and sustainable future for Rwanda. To us, the measure of success of our designs comes in their benefit to their primary users, as well as their value to the whole community and impact on the surrounding context as a means to empower, enrich and enhance lives. Good design balances originality and beauty with sustainability, durability and functionality.
Research, both within academia and on-going on-site contextual and social research, is the base for our projects development. The founding partners' trajectory of scholarly work has allowed ASA to test ideas with diverse clients, communities and with students in different settings and conditions. In the realm of academia, the founders and most of the members work have with the young Department of Architecture at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, now part of the University of Rwanda, is a further testament of the firm's mission in the potential of empowerment in education through architecture. Their engagement in the development of innovative and socially responsible solutions for the wider possible number of individuals reinforces the belief that architecture is a right of everyone.
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Zeno Riondato | Principal
Francesco Stassi | Principal
Alice Tasca | Principal
Initially as a fellow (2012) and now as co-owner (2014), he has been involved in most of ASA's projects. He believes in a practice rooted in a continuous research and hands-on field work that understands the relationship between processes and context and engages with the society. He holds a Master's degree in Architecture and Construction from IUAV, Venice. He taught at the UR for 4 years.
He holds a Master’s degree in Architecture and Construction from the Politecnico di Torino (2008). Between 2009 and 2011 he lived in Spain and Mexico where he undertook the investigation for his final thesis, that focused on traditional architecture, local construction techniques and robust technologies. He believes in Architecture as an essential instrument of social improvement.
After her Master's degree in Sustainable Architecture (IUAV, 2011) she moved to Rwanda to teach at the School of Architecture, University of Rwanda.  Alice coordinates the Third Year design studio. She's highly committed to the social and environmentally responsably design aspects Asa pursues, topics of her ongoing research. She purchased ASA in 2014 after being a fellow designer for one year.
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Christian Karagire | Design Fellow
He completed his studies at the University of Rwanda in 2016, and is among the first locally trained architects. He won two awards for his outstanding design projects and Student of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He is interested in improving local building materials use, promoting their use and the public perception of them. He joined ASA in 2016 and he is now involved in design projects that contribute to the communities empowerment.
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Barcelona trained architect, she holds a Master's in International Cooperation and Sustainable Emergency Architecture from UIC (2011). Co-Founding ASA she aimed to provide a collaborative scenario to improve the quality of the educational and health facilities in Rwanda through community based designs. She interned at UNICEF Rwanda (2011) to develop an innovative design approach for ECD centers. Nerea taught at University of Rwandafor 4 years. She is now pursuing her PhD at the Bartlett School of the Built environment at the University college of London. 
Nerea Amòros Elorduy | Co-founder
Tomà Berlanda | Co-founder
Barcelona trained architect, she worked in Ethiopia, consulted for UNHCR, UNICEF and other international NGOs in Rwanda and taught at the School of Architecture at the University of Rwanda before co-Founding ASA Studio. With ASA she aimed to provide a collaborative scenario to improve the quality of the educational and health facilities in Rwanda and the region through innovative community based designs and a holistic approach to architecture.  She is now pursuing her PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture at the UCL, on the role of architecture in long-term encampment of refugees in the region.
http://www.mappingrefugeespaces.com

Dipl. Arch., Ph.D. Italian architect and scholar with extensive international academic and professional experience. As of April 2015, he serves as Professor of Architecture, and Director of the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town. This follows on his position with ASA, where he was involved in broadening the scope of architecture and design in improving livelihoods and addressing inequality, as part of a larger engagement with the epistemic role of the discipline in Africa. He has held teaching positions at various institutions, and is the author of numerous publications. 
Past Fellows & Interns
Michelle Hagenauer (GERMANY) intern, 2017 // Maria Joao (PORTUGAL) intern, 2017 // Mary Ishimwe (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Eric Musabimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Francisco Susmel (ARGENTINA) - Intern, 2017 // Patrick Kubwimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Francis Kwihangana Kibet (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Bienvenu Ntampaka (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017  // Prince Kamana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Elisa Tangheroni (ITALY) - Intern, 2017 // Jaime Velasco Perez (SPAIN) - Design Fellow & Project Manager, 2015/17 // Amal Dirie (CANADA) - Intern, 2017 // Jeanne Urtizverea (FRANCE) - Intern, 2017 // Anne Kauffmann (GERMANY) - Intern, 2016-17 // Margot Guillaume (FRANCE) - Intern, 2016 // Ping-chun Huang (TAIWAN) - Intern, 2016 // Esperance Izerimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2016 // Prince Kamana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2016 // Simon Wallington (SOUTH AFRICA) - Intern, 2016 // Martina Ruini (ITALY) - Design Fellow, 2015-2016 // Maria Siöström (SWEDEN) - Intern, 2016 // Taylor Starbird (USA) - Intern, 2016 // Marina Pérez Primo (SPAIN) - Intern, 2016 // Seçil Taşkoparan (TURKEY) - Intern, 2015 // Michael Gozo (UK) - Intern, 2015 // Angelo Mbonimpa (RWANDA) - Intern, 2015-16 // Disa Reutersward (SWEDEN) - Intern, 2015 // Laura Targarona (SPAIN) - Design Fellow, 2014 // Michelle Stadelman (USA) - Architect and Project Manager 2013/14 - Consultant 2015/16 // Kartini Kasmuri (MALAYSIA)- Intern, 2014 // Alyssa Juday (USA) - Intern, 2014 // Jaques Murama (RWANDA) - Design Fellow 2013/14 // Kimberly Pelkosky (USA) - Intern, 2013 // Emmanuel Nyirinkindi (RWANDA) - Intern, 2013 // Emmanuel Havugimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2012 // Aaron Gensler (USA) - Intern, 2012 //

News

ASA studio published
September 2017
RLS Dormitory project featured by Africanism, the premier news portal for architecture and design stories from across the African continent. Click on the logo and check it out.  ​
ASA studio presents
May 2017
ASA partner Alice Tasca presented in the session Health, Education and Shelter at the African Design Centre Symposium. The event focused on how architecture and design become tools that through the process create a balance between urban trends  and the urgent need to provide safe, sustainable dignified solutions to the cities of the African continent.
Honorable Mention
April 2017
Among 49 participants and 8 mentions, ASA studio receives the Honorable Mention for SOCIALLY ACTIVE ECOSYSTEM- ECD CENTERS FOR RWANDA, submitted at the ASF Award 2017. 
Click on the image for the results!


ASA studio for Kaira Looro
April 2017
ASA studio submitted a project for Kaira Looro competition proposing a sacred architecture solution in the Casamance region, Senegal.
ASA Social Design Circle Member
1 March 2017
We are very proud to be recognized as a 2017 Social Design Circle Member by the Curry Stone Design Prize!!! Click on the image and visit the website.
   
30 March 2017
Active Social Architecture is on this week’s episode of Social Design Insights discussing “Can Design Challenge Inequality” with co-hosts Eric Cesal and Emiliano Gandolfi. Click to the button to listen to the podcast.
ASA studio published
31 March 2017
RLS Dormitory project featured by saudade architecture website. Click on the logo and check it out.  
Honorable Mention
21 March 2017
ASA studio receives Honorable Mention for TROPICAL COURTYARDS: Stimulation by Design & Environmental Response, design for the new KenCada International Academy in Mombasa, Kenya. Click on the image for the results.
ECD&F Centers featured
25 March 2017
ASA's ECD&F Centers featured in the Italian architecture magazine Industria delle Costruzioni n.453.
Click on the image and subscribe to receive your copy.
ASA studio published
20 February 2017
Mugombwa Refugee Camp education facility and ECD&F centers featured by Apsaidal architecture website.​ Click on the logo and check it out.
Honorable Mention
22 December 2016
ASA studio receives Honorable Mention for SOCIALLY ACTIVE ECOSYSTEMS  at the Laka Competition 2016: Architecture that Reacts. Click on the image for the results.
in Touch conference _ Lund
19 September 2016
ASA studio invited to SUDes 2016 Annual International Conference In Touch: Material Performance in the Making of Urban Placesat  Lund University, Architecture and Built Environment, Lund, Sweden.
MUD House Competition Honorable mention
16 December 2015
ASA studio receives Honorable Mention for NKA Foundation's MUD House Competition with the project ASASE House, Ghana. The prototype is expected to be built through students and community workshop in the summer 2016. Click on the image to know more and participate to the workshop.
ECD&F Centers and Kintobo HC featured
Jan-Mar 2015 | Apr-Jun 2015
ASA's ECD&F Centers and Kintobo Health Center, designed with TAMassociati, are featured in Boundaries 15 and 16, international architecture magazine that focused on education and healthcare projects in developing countries. Click on the images and subscribe to receive your copy.
ECD&F Centers on cover page
Apr-May 2015
ASA's ECD&F Centers featured in ​EarthWorks issue 25, architecture magazine that focuses on sustainable built environment makes the front page! Click on the images and subscribe to receive your copy.
news
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Jobs

ASA Design Ltd works to enhance quality architecture and design delivery in Rwanda, with a focus on social, educational, health and civic projects. We provide hands-on technical and design services to UN agencies, small and medium NGOs, governmental institutions and private clients in order to improve quality of architecture and ensuring long-term sustainability. ASA has an important focus in applied research and therefore all its projects have a high content of it in their design development and their implementation.

We are continuously looking for highly committed and talented professionals to join our office in Kigali and students willing to participate to our internship program. For our "Current Openings", please see the offers listed in this webpage.

The subject of your email should describe the title of the position you apply for. You should also include the following material: cover letter, CV, portfolio of selected projects - PDF format, max 4 MB (link to Issuu also accepted)​.
Openings are offered throughout the year and they are addressed to architecture students from around the World. We look for self-motivated and skilled candidates, interested to join our office in Kigali for a temporary internship appointment. Interns at ASA will have the opportunity to be involved in the Rwandan social & cultural context, by contributing to the research and design process of the studio on an everyday basis.

Requirements:
At least 4 semesters of architectural studies
Good skills in  AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Photoshop, InDesign 
High motivation,versatility and curiosity
Fluent spoken and written English

Application:
Minimum 3/5 months commitment.
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Position Closed
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   Please send your application to jobs@activesocialarchitecture.com

We sincerely thank all candidates for their interest.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests we receive, we are unable to respond to all applicants, therefore only those being ranked for an interview will be contacted
Contact Us
Info
info@activesocialarchitecture.com

A: +250 728 66 7860
F: +250 787 78 2755
Z: +250 726 74 6791
Address
KG 639 st
Kimihurura
Kigali, Rwanda