Future Roots

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Authorship: Isabella Previti

Designed around a majestic baobab tree, the proposal for the primary school aims to honor ancestrality and assert that the future derives from it. With the baobab tree as the project’s central point, the school is inspired by the techniques and materials of Diola huts, an ethnic group located in southern Senegal, in the region of Casamance. The classroom buildings, shaped like seeds, frame and embrace the central courtyard, resembling a small village where children can freely play. The classrooms are flexible spaces, arranged in a rhizomatic way, with no hierarchy, allowing for adaptation for each class pedagogies. Depending on educational dynamics, the large wooden and fabric doors allow the expansion of the classroom onto the verandas. The whole school presents a flexible layout, especially the laboratory area, and the open Baobab classroom serves as a meeting point for reading activities, theater, music, and games.

What was prioritized in this project’s conception was thinking about how the local craftsmanship and community would construct it. For this purpose, a smartphone application was designed where the local community can communicate and receive all the project information, including a visual construction manual with step-by-step instructions and an augmented reality visual interface to ensure accuracy. This application allows architects from around the world to collaborate with distant communities. The idea of having a smartphone application as part of
the construction process derives from a survey in January 2021, which states that the number of mobile connections in Senegal was equivalent to 102.9% of the total population, and the internet penetration in Senegal was 46% of the population (1). With that in mind, mobile phones and internet access could be valuable tools for communicating with specialists before and during the building process, showcasinga construction manual as an Augmented Reality

(1) DataReportal (2021), “Digital 2021: Senegal”, retrieved from
https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-senegal visited on
June 4, 2023

Renders: Isabella Previti

Contact: info@b-a-d.net