Landscape as Agency: Co-Designing New School Typologies with Children in Rural Sudan



Publication Date

August 2022


Environmental and social injustices severely impact children's learning spaces in marginalized communities in Sudan. Children in those schools confront hazardous environmental conditions and systemic corruption. Their schools are disregarded by the government, lack basic amenities, and are impossible to navigate, turning them into ghost schools. Children of ghost schools are part of communities with potential, willpower, and resilience. However, these communities' desperation for self-sufficiency hinders them from thriving. This research project focuses on participatory design concerning children’s schools, particularly in remote farmer's communities along the Nile River in Sudan, and investigates one primary question:

How can interdisciplinary architecture change the way we think about designing children's learning environments in marginalized communities?

I use design methodologies and interdisciplinary architecture typologies. I also planned workshops to develop means to sustain schools as environmental, and social infrastructures. Participatory design tools have helped me re-think the role of these schools. The Abu-Halima school provided significant input to develop this research. The major contribution of this research project is establishing innovative adaptive systems that can grow in complexity, such as food production, and climate and flood mitigation.