Beyond Place Studio
Supporting innovations beyond shelter to create dignified housing and vibrant public spaces.
The Beyond Place Studio exists to support the refugee-led design and implementation of dignified housing and vibrant public spaces. We collaborate with teams of urban planners, engineers, entrepreneurs, and NGOs to support community efforts to use local materials to create dignified housing.
Newlab has partnered with Opportunigee to develop a village pilot—a multi-year refugee-driven program focused on prototyping, building, and testing new solutions at the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda. The project will take into account community needs including water, food, energy, and public space.
Enabling local and sustainable supply chains through the exploration of environmental factors, materials, structures, and building methods that create more dignified shelter.
Creating refugee-designed and built multi-use gathering spaces and knowledge hubs that support community development.
Adapting technology to address community needs—including water, sanitation, agriculture, cooking, and off-grid solar—with a focus on localized products and innovation.
Supporting the village pilot build in Nakivale by forming an ecosystem of peer-to-peer training and skill-building opportunities for refugees including carpentry, fabrication, brick-making, and more.
Newlab has partnered with Opportunigee, a community-based organization co-created by Patrick Muvunga, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The organization operates as a social entrepreneurship hub that provides space for refugees to create their own opportunities. Refugee-run and open to all, it provides internet, tools, and learning resources. Along with Muvunga’s design and innovation studio, Opportunigee has developed projects including a radio station, amphitheater, learning center, housing, and other public health amenities in Nakivale, Uganda.