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A conversation between Teesa Bahana, Director of 32º East | Ugandan Arts Trust, and James Hampton, architect and founder of New Makers Bureau, exploring Kampala’s 32º East Arts Centre - the city’s first purpose-built community arts space.

32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust provides a productive space for Kampala’s artist community and visitors to work, socialise, gather, and exchange ideas, a hub for the Ugandan contemporary art scene as well as connecting with artists across the continent and beyond. The building, a celebration of earth construction, has been designed by the London-based practice New Makers Bureau, in collaboration with Kampala-based multidisciplinary design and build firm Localworks. Phase I, consisting of four artists' studios and a multi-purpose space, was launched in March 2023, with fundraising for Phase II now underway.

The discussion will centre around the collaborative design process, what this building means for 32º East, and the necessity of building in a sustainable way.

Teesa Bahana, Director, 32º East | Ugandan Arts Trust

As director of 32° East, Teesa Bahana has supported the development and execution of projects such as KLA ART Labs for research and critical thinking through public practice, KLA ART, Kampala's public art festival, and residency exchanges with partners such as Arts Collaboratory, and Triangle Network. She is also currently overseeing 32° East's capital project, raising funds to build the first purpose-built art centre in Kampala, phase 1 of which was completed in January 2023. With an academic background in sociology and anthropology, she is particularly interested in the intersection between art and Ugandan society, and how artistic environments should be protected and nurtured. She also serves on the board of the Localworks Foundation.

James Hampton, Architect & Founder, New Makers Bureau

James established the practice to make architecture that is designed both for its experiential quality and environmental value. He wants to reconnect architecture practice with making and exploring the tactile and sensual experience of buildings. He believes that we should design buildings, placing as much value on how they make us feel as how well they work. James studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London where he graduated with distinction and later qualified as an architect. He has worked for a number of leading architecture practices and has lectured both in the UK and internationally and has taught at degree and masters level at the Bartlett where he currently teaches in the masters school.

About 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust

32° East is an independent nonprofit dedicated to the transformative power of contemporary art in Kampala, Uganda. Since 2012 it has made a significant mark on arts and culture in the country by becoming the centre for experimentation and critical thinking in the arts. Through residencies, exhibitions, free public programmes, and professional development support, 32° East has amassed a regional and international community of creative professionals, and a reputation for its artist-centred approach and embeddedness in the local context.

Contact 32° East

About New Makers Bureau

New Makers Bureau is a RIBA Chartered Architecture Practice, based in the Design District in Greenwich, London, making environmentally and socially conscious buildings. The practice focuses on making low embodied carbon buildings that tread lightly on the earth, considering the finite and precious resources we have to deploy them with thought and care.

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