Beyond Place
Studio

A partnership between Newlab and residents of the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda. The studio’s mission is to support innovation beyond shelter to create dignified housing and vibrant public spaces.

Newlab is collaborating with a refugee led design team called Opportunigee, located in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda. We are designing and building a ‘village pilot’ which will house 500 recently resettled refugees.

 

We are partnering with Newlab members, international designers, engineers, and NGOs to create a new model for refugee resettlement. Our goal is to integrate innovations and technology that increase access to critical resources like water, food, and energy, while creating dignified housing and vibrant public spaces.

 

The goal of the studio and this pilot is to create scalable solutions for resettlement in hopes of addressing the escalating global refugee crisis.


Focus areas
Research

The user design team interviewed 100+ recently resettled families in Nakivale to better understand how shelters were built and to document resources throughout the community. Newlab conducted research to explore relevant technology solutions, refugee innovation, and humanitarian and global development practices.

Design

Newlab and Opportunigee worked together to design a ‘village pilot’ model of resettlement to include housing, infrastructure, and vibrant public spaces. Together we iterated on the designs with global partners and began prototyping in Nakivale.

Ideate

Newlab and Opportunigee surveyed state of the art solutions from around the world and tested Newlab member products to ideate on the ‘village pilot’ concept. The Opportunigee team developed building prototypes and responded to community feedback to incorporate relevant technology and infrastructure solutions.

Build

Once a final ‘village pilot’ plan is ready, Opportunigee along with partners and select vendors will begin the build. This will include site preparation, a water delivery system, participant selection, co-building of homes, community spaces, and sanitation systems.

Learn

Newlab and Opportunigee will document learnings from the refugee led and implemented ‘village pilot’ and evaluate opportunities to replicate this holistic and locally led approach to refugee resettlement.

Scale

Working with global and local partners, Newlab will determine opportunities to scale ‘village pilot’ concepts throughout Nakivale and globally to address long term displacement.

Team and Collaborators
Patrick<br>Muvunga
Patrick
Muvunga
Village Pilot Lead and Opportunigee cofounder
William<br>Butula
William
Butula
User Design Lead and
Director of Nakviart
Mireille Baraka<br>Bisimwa
Mireille Baraka
Bisimwa
Finance and Admin Lead
Rolande<br>Anisma
Rolande
Anisma
User Design and Youth Representative
Rafael<br>Muvunga
Rafael
Muvunga
Cofounder of Opportunigee
and Business Mentor
Bushman<br>Papashante
Bushman
Papashante
You and I Foundation partner
David<br>Belt
David
Belt
Executive Chairman, Newlab
Jamie<br>LePinnet
Jamie
LePinnet
Director, Beyond Place Studio
Zoe<br>Pacciani
Zoe
Pacciani
Engineers Without Borders Country Director, Uganda
Aggrey<br>Kabunga
Aggrey
Kabunga
Engineers Without Borders Engineer, Uganda
Mike<br>Zuckerman
Mike
Zuckerman
Advisor
Gabriella<br>Amini
Gabriella
Amini
Opportunigee scholar and Women’s advocate

Studio Partners


Two Trees, PAU Studio, Engineers Without Borders, Ursa Space Systems, Langan Engineering, CIVILIVN, Henning Larsen, To.org, Technology 4 Tomorrow, Localworks, Commercial Studio, Spaceflight Industries, Vishaan Chakrabarti of UC Berkeley CED, and Francis de los Reyes of North Carolina State University.



Newlab Member Company Engagement
Shared Studios
Shared Studios
The Shared Studios portal in Nakivale connects residents of the settlement with various communities around the world for live, immersive dialogues and exchanges of ideas.
Voltaic Systems
Voltaic Systems
Voltaic’s 5w and 10w solar home systems will be tested with newly resettled refugees to inform off grid solar application for the ‘village pilot.’
 BioLite
BioLite
BioLite’s high efficiency charcoal and wood cookstoves have been tested with residents of Nakivale and are helping to inform cooking resources and kitchen design considerations for the ‘village pilot.’
goTenna
goTenna
A case study using goTenna Mesh devices are providing off grid communication capabilities between construction teams working in remote areas of Nakivale.