Bridging the Gap in Sub-Saharan Architecture with Yem Edozie

Friday, 15 December 2017

Hello Everyone! As promised last week, we'll be conversing with Architect and Design Enthusiast, Yem  Edozie. With two master's degrees in Environmental and Architectural Design and 15 years of experience in the industry, Yem has gone on to establish an architectural company, Bruuda, an international trans-disciplinary practice built on the integration of architecture and design creativity.
CA: So who is Yem?
Y: I’d describe myself as a design enthusiast who became an architect. I am basically an idealist who believes design can change the world.

CA: Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?
Y: Of course...I'm a licensed architect in Lagos as well as AIA New York chapter. I have a Masters degree in Environmental Design from the University of Lagos and another Masters in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University, although my true education came when advancing my studies in New York at Columbia.

CA: How long have you been practicing?
Y: About 15 years.

CA: What inspired your company, 'Bruuda'?
Y: Prior to its establishment, I had noticed a lacuna in the industry locally which was a lack of a platform to showcase both critical architectural thinking as well as ‘the built form’ simultaneously, in Sub-Saharan Africa…in a nutshell, it was a commitment to design philosophy. After deep collaboration with my partner, Bruuda was birthed.

CA: Where do you see Bruuda in the foreseeable future?
Y: I see Bruuda being an incubator for experimental thinking and radical architecture in sub-Saharan Africa without necessarily welding its ethos to the numerous underlying socio-political and socio-cultural factors at play in the region. To be able to distill these factors into a unique identity and be the standard-bearer for this entirely original identity

CA: How will this impact our environment?
Y: Well, in terms of the LEED green-building metrics, we are certified associate professionals (BD+C) and we try not to go below Bronze standards in our designs. We also utilize Carbon-neutral materials where ever possible.”

CA: What is the major motivation?
The 'built form’ still isn’t being properly utilized in my opinion. There’s more to a house than a just a dwelling; and the way by which we re-orient people on the way they interact with their buildings and subsequently their city is a process that’s become a passion. There’s a complex narrative to it but that’s the basic driving motive.”

CA: So how do you unwind in the midst of all this?
Y: I spend time with my family, I listen to Jazz music a lot, I also enjoy my football…Those are probably the non-work-related ways I unwind.

CA: This has been an enlightening wrap up, do you have any advice to upcoming Architects?
Y: Curiosity is key. You absolutely have to be unsatisfied with the status quo and always push the envelope. That’s what almost always leads to producing truly original architecture.

Reach the Bruuda team here

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