75 furniture and fixture products for the Rwanda Institue of Conservation Agriculture
The Bugesera Collection emerged out of the vision to create the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA). The aim? To leverage the design and production of furniture to advance the country’s sustainable development goals.
RICA is a new university in Bugesera, Rwanda educating the next generation of leaders in conservation agriculture to attain healthy and sustainable food independence in the country. The Bugesera Collection includes the fittings and fixtures for the university, using a color palette inspired by Rwanda’s natural landscape found in locally available and sustainably collected materials, such as clay, wood, textiles, and papyrus.
Over the past two years, MASS Design Group designed and built the RICA campus. MASS enlisted Super Local to collaborate on the design and production of over 75 different furniture and interior products. Through this process, Super Local and MASS sought to highlight and scale local innovation and ideas and hire local labour, while limiting carbon emissions and minimizing the reliance on imported materials and products.
Super Local created a network of over 85 manufacturers,
cooperatives, craft centers, design enterprises, and individual entrepreneurs in Rwanda.
The result of this process is the co-creation of designs with this artisan network that reflect a balance between modernity and traditional Rwandan crafts, while taking into account the unique needs of all campus users, including students, faculty, and the local community. The Bugesera is a celebration of RICA’s
surrounding environment in its use of Rwandan materials and artisanship. The Bugesera Collection’s social and economic impact are tangible through the opportunities for employment it provided and the training of the hundreds of people involved in its creation Additionally, the Bugesera Collection
puts local materials at the forefront of contemporary trends. A broader shift in tastes in Rwanda would amplify the economic impact on the artisans producing this kind of furniture in addition to the traditional products, as well as on the carbon emissions created by the demand for furniture in Rwanda.