RISD Architecture Students Take on Tanzania

RISD students will be designing a dining hall for a village school

Students at the Rhode Island School of Design are designing a dining hall for a village school in Pommerin, Tanzania.

The project happened by accident when interior architecture major Laura Sussman was volunteering in Tanzania.

While she was working in Pommerin, a small village a full-day’s drive from Dar Es Salaam, the head of the village’s secondary school heard that she was an interior architecture student and asked for her help in redesigning the school’s dining hall. Sussman took a closer look at the existing facility, analyzed the site and did a few quick sketches. Her hope, she told the headmaster, was to collaborate with other RISD students and faculty to address the problem comprehensively.


The resulting facility is being overseen by RISD professor Liliane Wong who focuses on areas of design for homeless and low income modulars believes that the Tanzania facility will be able to be built by the 900 students at the school for $15,000 or less.