Gallery: INTERVIEW: We Talk to Architect Charles Newman About 15,000 Bo...

Image courtesy of Charles Newman
 
The outside wall receives final preparations before the bottle caps are added.

What started as the 15,000 Bottle Caps for Africa concept just a few months ago is now an actual built computer learning center and library thanks to architect Charles Newman and the organization Under The Acacia. The Kenya-based project revolved around Newman’s inclusive approach to design, which made it imperative that he work closely with the local Maasai people and give them ownership over the build. More than an architectural feat decorated with colorful bottle caps laid out by Maasai women according to traditional jewelry patterns, the project also creates social cohesion and introduces technology in a non-intrusive way. Newman explains, “In a community that has historically resisted western influence, allowing them to create something unique to their tribe helps them understand that while computers might be foreign, it is an opportunity to further enrich their own culture.” Read on for Inhabitat’s exclusive interview with this revolutionary architect.

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