Next Generation Ambassadors

Emerging practitioners leveraging diverse global perspectives

Clinic of Care Program

Two sustainable, socially inclusive – and deeply collaborative – building projects in Indonesia and Tanzania are being developed by the Holcim Foundation’s Next Generation Ambassadors.

Clinic of Care

A commitment to both a healthier planet and healthier communities

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction named the inaugural group of six Ambassadors in 2023 as part of its Next Generation Network: Meriem Chabani (France), Namjoo Kim (South Korea), Twaha Kyomuhendo (Uganda), Andi Subagio (Indonesia), Vedhant Maharaj (South Africa), and Stefan Novakovic (Canada).

Co-design and Collaboration in Tanzania

Clinic of Care Tanzania reached a milestone: a co-design workshop with 26 architecture students and local community members was completed in October 2023.

Supported via a Holcim Foundation grant program, the two projects are joined under the thematic umbrella Clinic of Care. The interventions comprise a maternity ward expansion in the Tanzanian village of Nkweshoo (situated near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro), as well as the restoration and adaptation of abandoned Indonesian vernacular housing (within the village of Mutihan Madurejo in Java’s Yogyakarta region) into a rehearsal space and cultural venue for a traditional dance collective. While the two projects are rooted in deep sensitivity to their — very different — local contexts, they are equally driven by the shared set of principles outlined in the manifesto below.

Clinic of Care: Indonesia

Holcim Foundation Next Generation Ambassadors Andi Subagio (left) and Namjoo Kim (right) visit a revitalized joglo structure to build their understanding and to help guide the design and reconstruction process.

Funded by the Holcim Foundation and carried out in partnership with local universities and NGOs, the projects are also guided by the Foundation’s goals and principles. This “think and do” tank is also defined by a holistic vision to combine low-carbon design with social and economic resilience, encompassing a commitment to both a healthier planet and healthier communities.


Clinic of Care: A Manifesto

An architectural practice that respects the built and cultural context

Can architecture be about care? In the Eurocentric tradition, the creative vision of the solitary designer formed the nucleus of the profession. It is a paradigm exported across the globe, and one that persists in the 21st century. But it is a deeply misguided model for architectural practice today — particularly across the Global South. Facing a pressing climate crisis, limited financial means and a long reckoning with the legacies of colonial infrastructure, designers must apply the tools of practice in a fundamentally different way.

Clinic of Care is a collaborative methodology rooted in respect for the built and cultural context: the site and the community. Instead of using design to imagine new worlds tabula rasa, our approach entails working closely with communities to understand needs and ameliorate the built environment accordingly. A holistic paradigm of sustainability must encompass carbon cost, community, culture — and collaboration. For the Next Generation Ambassadors, this collective spirit also drives the cooperative nature of our work as a global team. We are at our best when we can share our knowledge, resources, and passion.

The principle of adaptation over demolition is also at the heart of our ethos, both as a response to the environmental impacts of new construction and as an understanding that buildings serve as vessels of history and culture. In lieu of a particular aesthetic or style, architects work closely with local stakeholders to create a culturally, financially, and climatically appropriate built response. The designer — and design team — is thus not a visionary, but a collaborator, activist, interlocutor, and carer.

The Next Generation Ambassadors,