Slums worldwide subject of UWA study


Abel Feleke
Abel Feleke

A PRESTIGIOUS international architecture scholarship will see Sinagra student Abel Feleke (pictured) travel to some of the world’s most diverse slums.

The 22-year-old, who is studying a masters of architecture at the University of WA, was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship to research informal settlements in China, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil.

Mr Feleke will spend about two weeks in each community to understand the social connections and how they could inform future architectural developments.

“The main aim of my research is to create a dialogue to understand how we can better aid the development of strong communities through architecture, both at home and abroad,” he said.

His research project was inspired by a trip taken two years ago to his parents’ homeland of Ethiopia, where they stayed with family in a settlement.

“I could feel a strong sense of community,” he said.

“I thought about what we could learn from informal settlements.”

Mr Feleke will use photos and interviews to document his experience, which will culminate with a presentation at the institute in London.

“It’s a really great opportunity to learn abroad and travel to places I would otherwise not have the opportunity to visit,” he said.

“It will be great to study different perspectives and societies and the way people live and interact with one and other.

“It should be a really eye-opening experience.”