The African Collaborative Institute of Design(ACID) has officially launched it’s fellowship program for which we are honored to be an official media partner. ACID is a new-age critically evaluating ‘place’ for thinking at various current levels that is mostly anchored in the African context. As a research think tank, one of it’s primary tasks is to evolve Architecture, Planning, Economics and Design to meet up with the tempo and demands of the contemporary African context, drawing capacity from an interdisciplinary base. It is the need to accomplish these tasks, among many that has led to the Fellowship Program.
The ACID Fellowship
Studies have shown that the African continent can use a rise in scholarship and the built environment is not exempted. Most of the production of work in the African built environment are not backed up with formal research motives, procedures and decisions. The activities and processes of ‘looking’, ‘finding’ and ‘using’, are constantly being re-ordered very randomly with little consideration for scenario or context. This seems to be stifling innovation and significant incremental development that is sustainable, inclusive and humanly emphatic. Africa has a unique need to help engage and tackle the millennium development goals. This feat cannot be done alone. It will take everyone. Research from ACID shows that the qualitative blurring of the boundaries of personnel in the practice and in academia/scholarship will noticeably improve the innovative tempo of the African built environment. The formal, cultural and social dichotomy existing between those who find knowledge and those who use knowledge is becoming untamed and therefore counter-productive. With the advent of the kontratiev-like wave of information technology, powered by the internet and more recently; social media (which is inherent in the internet but has strong manifestations and overlaps with the real world society), things are changing. Collaboration is emerging as the only key for development. Problems caused by everybody may need to be solved by everybody for lasting solutions. ACID has speculated on this issue of enormous impact and scope over the past two years. In the built environment; an attempt to merge and consolidate the huge innovation capacity found in both the world of practice and academia is seen as a step towards maximizing human and intellectual capacity for sustainable development. If professionals learn how to search better and the academia has a firsthand experience of the application of knowledge in the real world, a positive change in development can be fostered. This will be even more effective if the experience and knowledge is drawn from a coalition of collective opinions which comes from everyone related to the built environment of Africa.
ACID therefore presents a fellowship program which enables professionals to be selected for extended research in an area related to Architecture, Planning, Economics and Design within the institute. They will set aside some time (6 months) out of their busy schedule to work on a self-chosen research project which will be carried out formerly with the help of ACID and other partners. The project is expected to give highly prolific and talented working professionals an experience of scholarship while enabling them to feed their curiosity about various phenomena that seem to be of interest to them. The Fellowship is expected to be held in simultaneity with their professional career which provides a unique perspective to their work approach. There will be adequate flexibility of time dedication which can be planned with the daily busy schedule of industry professionals.
Twice a year, one fellow will be chosen from a shortlist of applicants to take part in the program. The program will run for 6 months in which the chosen fellow will work on a self-chosen project in collaboration with ACID, a support agency and relevant academic advisors. Applications are welcome and will be assessed based on the strength of the application for prospects of feasibility and result. It must be noted that while the themes related to this fellowship remain largely within the domain of the built environment, applications are welcome from other professionals. The 2017 ACID fellowship will be embarked on with additional support from LivinSpaces and other partners. The fellowship will be concluded with a publishable piece of writing which will appear on various media including a journal. At the start of the program, the research must be designed and calibrated so as to fit into the 6 month-duration and the professional life of the prospective fellow. The 2017 ACID will be announced at towards the end of September. The 2018 ACID Fellowship is however open for applications till December 30, 2017.
Applications are expected from professional individuals who have a positional stance to impact their environment positively through their work place. A fellow is therefore expected to be in some form of leadership position within a business/office with a perceived motivation to push the current boundaries of the practice to benefit society. At least 3 years of experience is desired.