Architecture & Identity – East Africa Series

The LFA is the world’s largest annual architectural festival – running each year from 1st to 30th June – with a programme this year of more than 450 public events run by over 260 organisations and individuals – engaging in one way or another with an audience of over 400,000 people.

At its most basic level, the identity of any world city like London is instantly recognisable by the silhouette of its architecture. From Sydney’s Opera House to New York’s Empire State Building, we recognise and identify our cities by their buildings.

Of course, identity and architecture are much more closely entwined than the look of our cities.  The identity and cultural background of any architect has a profound influence on the architecture they create.

To coincide with our festival this year we wanted to explore ideas of architecture and identity more broadly – to get a bit of perspective.

So we travelled to Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia to bring you a series of Architecture Masters interviews.  Given our changing identity, we thought these countries might offer some insights.

How have architects working in Kenya and Rwanda had their identities influenced their British, German and Belgian colonial histories. And what of Ethiopia – which largely escaped European colonialism – but was fascinatingly influenced by orthodox Christian architecture.