Design Journal Entry - Module 1

Journal Entry For
Module 1 - Design Inspirations & Big Feature Ideas
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Oct 24, 2022 6:29 PM
Last Edited
Oct 24, 2022 9:10 PM
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African Theater Practice and Education Space

My idea is a theater teaching and performance space. I did a theater studies minor when I was an undergrad, and I studied African theater, and specifically Yoruba theater, which is a fusion of Yoruba music, dance, folklure, etc into English theater. In Yoruba culture some theatrical expression happened during festivals, and a lot of it of it was day-to-day, in teaching new stories, etc. I want my theater space to maintain the mundane community aspect of simply sitting together in a circle to explore theatrical expression. This theater will (hypothetically) be located in Lagos, Nigeria, where I grew up.

Background: Yoruba Architecture

Traditional Yoruba homes are built using adobe, and architecturally they often follow a courtyard structure. These images below show the courtyard structure, as well as the rafia/straw roofing design, which I am keen to incorporate into my designs.


For my project, the courtyard will be the theater itself. It will be a hybrid indoor/outdoor theater created to mimic the feeling of sitting under the trees, or under the stars.

Technical Interests: Prefabrication & Building Energy Considerations

I am very keen to explore prefabricated adobe wall panels for this design, as well. I am also keen to look into the energy considerations for this material. I will be incorporating passive design features for cooling. Lagos is very temperate, so heating is never really a requirement.

For my PhD research, I would love to create a model for building adobe-based prefab wall panels. I would really love to explore that here, and possibly explore some VDC techniques to understand what considerations contribute to cost and time in building prefab adobe walls in developing contexts. I’ve added this here because I think it would be good to discuss more the extent to which I can explore this in the class!

Art Immersion and Education Plan

In terms of creating an immersive artistic experience, wood art for doors are very characteristic of Yoruba palaces. I also plan to incorporate a range of modern African visual art on the walls; the entire theater will be a mural of sorts, indoors. Each room will be inspired by different cultures



This is what I believe the walls will look like:


Question on Roof

For the roof, I’m a little torn between the roof cited above and a canopy roof that could possibly recline in the center of the courtyard:


Think about

  • Wall assemblies & model for building energy performance
    • Exploring a KoP
  • Exploring the integration of structural, utilities as well. What will the assembly sequence be like?
  • 4D simulation

Next Steps

  • Come up with a building layout