The concept of DIY (do it yourself) is surely not a new phenomenon. This is an something that has existing from the beginning of time. Wikipedia as of October 2016 describes it as the method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. It further goes on to state that Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where “individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g. landscaping)”. Architecture certainly falls under the Academic research category. However in the Architectural practice, the concept was fully brought to light in 1964, through the book entitled, Architecture Without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-pedigreed Architecture written by Bernard Rudofsky.
Today more and more people are starting to embrace this concept in their spaces and even more in their lifestyles. It has become a means to an end particularly because of how affordable and fulfilling it is in terms of personal involvement in the process. As you read this issue, you will find various areas in East Africa where DIY has been embraced so much that it has even been given local names like ufundi and jua kali. Our various contributors also help to explain how they have been promoting the concept to improve the lives many people in rural areas. This issue takes you through the different degrees and/or level of DIY as required by the different clientele or target group.
Steve Jobs once said, “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” We believe the same is true for DIY projects. There is always a story attached to the result. In conclusion, I will leave you with a quote from Frank Llyod Wright as your food for thought:
Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Enjoy the issue!