Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2023

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Department

Architecture

Primary Advisor

Jeffrey Collins

Abstract

Uhuru is Swahili for freedom, freedom that many victims of gender-based violence do not have. Several studies and articles have reported that Gender-based violence is a normalized global pandemic3. This normalization hides a bigger problem of lack of proper facilities and care services that aid the erosion of gender-based violence. The purpose of my thesis is to design a hub for victims of these crimes. A hub that would facilitate healing for victims and educational resources for the community to tackle the stigma of sexual education and violence. To achieve this, the implementation of trauma-informed care and trauma-informed design governed the direction of the project.

Care for GBV (Gender Based Violence) victims entails dealing with physical, mental, and emotional damage, the question becomes how can architecture create safe spaces to cater to trauma recovery? Trauma recovery is a multi-dimensional process4, and the understanding that architecture is influential in this process is the center of this thesis. While using these concepts to design the project, my study actively investigates Kenya by looking at the existing facilities and tracing the gaps present.

The key findings thus far indicate the discussion of GBV in Kenya is in the shadows due to societal norms and weak institutional capacities yet, there is a need for more present and affordable care centers across the communities. Secondly, data on trauma-informed design calls for the approach of creating a hospitable environment with a focus on lighting and daylighting, art, aesthetics, calming colors, and spatial layouts5. While most local examples do not exhibit these qualities, this thesis will dive into elements that are deemed to be the pride of Kenya such as vernacular attire and fabric-making processes, to create patterns that shall impact the design by informing visual interests, daylighting, and spatial components.

The goal is to ensure that those that use this facility do not feel less than others. Architecture has an opportunity of creating safety that overall aids in growth. The idea focuses on one community, but the project reinforces the need for care hubs globally. Onward to finding uhuru.

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