Interiorizing informality: resituating adaptable mixed-use housing within its urban vernacular. Kambi Moto, Nairobi Kenya.
Kivutha, Kathleen Kwekwe
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My Interior Design practicum is an inquiry about the nature of urban informality through the study of present and emerging urban vernaculars within Kambi Moto, an informal area in Nairobi Kenya. I argue that unique vernacular characteristics manifest in everyday living and can be captured through the experience and knowledge of self-builders, entrepreneurs and dwellers within informal settlements. An understanding of these vernacular characteristics is instrumental in the designing of meaningful and effective social housing prototypes. The main methods used to document vernacular characteristics include, post occupancy evaluations (POEs), time diaries, photographs and observation. Within an interior design context, these tools helped describe the spatial needs, wants and desires of the everyday dwellers of Kambi Moto. The four resulting compact housing configurations support one-to-ten member households with provisions for a home-based business (HBB) or a rental unit. All units have an adaptable rooftop with a garden.