David Chessrown

David Chessrown

Brooklyn, NY, US


Power Strip!

Power Strip seeks to question the methods of modernity within the contexts of the African City. I am arguing that with the establishment of hastily realized plans for corporate urban-industrial model of megalopolis the quest for economic progress is a destructive force to the existing forms of urbanization. While by no-means would I call for the stagnation of metropolis through inaction, I believe the mechanisms for growth can exist within, learn from, and reveal the current patterns of development within the city. For me the crucial testing ground lies within the existing informal settlements of Kigali, which make up a significant area of the cities’ footprint.


The development morphology of Kigali and Rwanda at large has one key driver, one that challenges expansion, movement and stability. The hill, the defining characteristic of Rwanda's landscape, is a topographical framework that serves as the basis for both ecological systems and territorial organization. a simultaneously beneficial yet dangerous entity; one on hand nourishing the wetland landscape, on the other a corrosive element of nature, at distinct odds against building practice.

My design proposal seeks to make this crucial link between the formal hilltop and wetland, as well as between divided settlement cells, utilizing the currently unbuildable spaces of the settlement, to stabilize the foundations of community which play such an important role in the Kigali entity. Conceived as a "power strip" the project makes use of the ravine condition as a central spine for stacked functions of landscape intervention, infrastructure and civic space, serving as a municipal armature from which the settlement can grow over time, with improvements occurring informally as manageable.

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Status: School Project
Location: Kigali, RW