Don tasks architects on home designs for blighted urban areas

By Bertram Nwannekanma   |   15 May 2017   |   4:39 am  

Prof Ogunsola stressed that Lagos will continue to play catch up in terms of infrastructural development because of the overcrowding nature of its population noting that it is a crisis in the making which must stopped.

With 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population living in unplanned and inhabitable slums, architects have been urged to come up with cheap and affordable housing designs to reverse the trend.

Nigeria has neglected parts of cities where housing and living conditions are appallingly lacking. These slums range from high density, squalid central city tenements to spontaneous squatter settlements without legal recognition or rights, sprawling at the edge of cities.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), University of Lagos, Prof Folasade Ogunsola who gave the charge at the three-day Lagos Architects Forum (LAF) with the theme: “Lagos 8.0: An Architectural Autopoiesis”, held in Lagos, organised by the State’s Chapter of the Nigeria Institute of Architecture  (NIA), stated that Lagos as an archetype of the nation should rescue Nigerians with new housing revolution.


Defining Autopoiesis as a process where an organism replicates itself within some variables in its environment, the renowned microbiologist revealed that 70 per cent of Nigerians who are servicing the rich are living in slums, in the midst of the highbrow cities.

Prof Ogunsola stressed that Lagos will continue to play catch up in terms of infrastructural development because of the overcrowding nature of its population noting that it is a crisis in the making which must stopped.

While regretting that 70 per cent of Nigerians live in slums, she said Lagos could assist in reducing life-threatening diseases in the society by coming out with buildings that are culturally relevant.

She said that many Nigerian markets were constructed without ventilation, thereby making them tuberculosis haven.  “To be relevant and going forward, we must take care of 70 per cent in the slum or our culture will go extinct. The present systems of breaking down slums are unacceptable”, she added.

The keynote speaker praised the designer of ‘Makoko Floating School’ Kunlé Adeyemi, an architect, for his innovative prototype floating structure, which has become a reference point.

She therefore urged Nigeria architects to come out with such innovative feats to make slums architecturally beautiful.According to her, going vertical may be a veritable option for Lagos in the midst of land and population challenges.

In his remarks, the representative of the Lagos State Governor and Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Ade Adesanya, an engineer urged architects to prove their relevance by coming out with good designs that can save money for the government.He stressed the state’s government commitment to secure architects’ services in its development and infrastructural projects.

“If architects can give government better value for money, they will be have better recognition.”Also speaking, President of NIA, Mr. Tonye Braide urged architect to come out with a revolution for architectural development in Nigeria.


Architecture, he said, should lead the pace through Autopioesis, and change the way we design as well as work with a new thinking to deliver the country from infrastructural calamity.

Earlier in his speech, the chairman of Lagos Chapter of NIA, Fitzgerald Umah said the 2017 event was meant to address the issues of regeneration, rebuilding, recreating and reinventing in the light of economic recessions.

The event he informed will also be looking at the problem of building collapses and possible solutions to the menace, which have taken the lives of many Nigerians and foreigners.

In this article:
Folasade Ogunsola


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