In June 2015, Kalobeyei New Settlement was established, in Turkana, Kenya. UN-Habitat was tasked with designing an Advisory Development Plan for the settlement, to accommodate 60,000 people – both refugees and host community members.
In April 2017, UN-Habitat contacted Shigeru Ban, a world-renowned architect famous for his disaster relief projects, to develop shelters in Kalobeyei New Settlement. In July, an agreement of cooperation was signed between UN-Habitat, and the Voluntary Architects Network (VAN), Shigeru Ban’s NGO, for the pilot programme of Shelter Typology Designs in the settlement. By August 2019, 14 houses had been constructed after testing seven housing types in the Settlement.
The first part of the book is a journal by Philippe Monteil, Shigeru Ban’s partner for the mission. It describes successes and failures with building pilot houses, and the influence of the context in the process. The second part is the visual interpretation of that process, a detailed Manual which explains in a sequence of steps, how to build the final housing prototype. In summary, the book tells the story of an encounter between an architect, refugees and Turkana people, brought together through the act of design and building.