Featuring The Community of Ilima, Congo.
In the center of Equator Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ilima community remains one of the most isolated in the world. The people have coexisted with endangered wildlife in the surrounding forest for generations, but as the pace of development has increased, this fragile ecosystem has suffered.
They partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation and MASS Design Group in 2012 to create a new conservation-focused primary school and community center. This film documents the collective building process—one aimed at leveraging local craft and ecological knowledge towards education, preservation, and beauty.
An Infant Bonobo Ape. Ilima Is Surrounded By One Of The Only Bonobo Habitats on Earth.
SEE THE FILM
Made In Ilima is now screening at film festivals internationally. See below for a screening schedule and sign up for updates on upcoming screenings and academic distribution.
MASS at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
School door being fabricated in Ilima from materials sourced on-site.
MASS Design Group
MASS Design Group began in 2008 during the design and building of the Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda; a project of Partners In Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Since then, MASS has expanded to work in over a dozen countries in Africa and the Americas. MASS's work spans the design of buildings, research, policy, education, strategic planning and film production.
Architecture is not neutral; it either helps or hurts. Architecture is a mechanism that projects its values far beyond a building’s walls and into the lives of communities and people. To acknowledge that architecture has this kind of agency and power is to acknowledge that buildings, and the industry that erects them, are as accountable for social injustices as they are critical levers to improve the communities they serve.
The stakes are too high, and the accountability too low, not to insist that architects do something to address these challenges.
MASS Design Group is set up as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to create a model of practice optimized to deliver maximum impact to their project partners and the communities served by them.