USANII LAB is a collective of young creatives from the eastlands of Nairobi. It was started in January 2013 as a communication design course. Within different workshops we gain design skills and practise graphic design computer programs. It‘s all about experimenting with different fields of arts and design and having fun to design our environment.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE LOOK LIKE?
From January until June 2013, we have been meeting three times a week to engage in different workshops. Communication design offers a broad field of work. Design is not just about looking good, but can also help to make people understand correlations easier. This can be through a comic, video, magazine, poster or other media. Within different projects we were learning how to design logos, posters and books, aswell as using social media and how to create an animation. Some of the results of the workshop can be seen here.
WILL THERE BE NEW COURSES?
It‘s going on! We are working together as a collective and are in the process of organizing new workshops. We experiment with the ways in which design operates within our environment and how design can create opportunities to earn a living in the harsh but booming city of Nairobi. By engaging in Design jobs and publishing our own magazine called ZOOM, we gain some much required work experience. We are also experimenting in other fields of arts starting from poetry, film and photography. If you are interested in holding a workshop or being a participant, contact us!
WHAT IS ZOOM MAGAZINE?
Zoom magazine is a youth magazine we launched in June 2013. It is a magazine for the youths of Nairobi and it is designed, written and founded by us. The next issue is planned for 2014. More information can be found here.
WHO BELONGS TO THE USANII LAB CREW?
Alex Thungu, Alex Ndegwa, Annabell Wanjiku, Florah Wanjiru, Edlyne Akumu, Irene Esonga, Getrude Awino, Brian Nandi, Cyrus Simiyu, Vincent Mbiti, Carlos Lawlor, Michael Maina, Emmanuel Abdi Shaffy, Nicholas Kimeu, James Ekwam Chemose, Francis Kathae are a bunch of young creatives from Mathare, Kayole, Kimbo and Ruaraka.
WHO IS CONDUCTING THE WORKSHOPS?
The main course was being conducted by Viola Kup, a designer from Germany who founded Usanii Lab as part of her thesis project at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe. Other workshops were conducted by visiting Designers/Artists from Europe and Africa. Recent workshops were conducted by Sindiso Nyoni, artist and designer from Zimbabwe who currently works in South Africa and Michael Rybakov, media artist from Russia who lives and works in Germany. As we are working as a collective now we elected as our chairman Michael Maina and as our chairlady Edlyne Akumu. New workshops are being planned! The latest one was conducted by Usanii Lab members Ekwam and Cyrus in Kakuma in June 2014.
WHERE DO THE WORKSHOPS TAKE PLACE?
The workshops were held at MYSA headquarters in Komarock as part of the Shootback program. Supporting projects of USANII LAB are Mwelu Foundation in Mathare where computer courses were held as well as K-Youth Media. Currently we are searching for a new space.
We are looking for sponsors and support for our workshops as well as advertising partners for ZOOM MAGAZINE. Feel free to contact us!
Viola Kup firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Maina email@example.com