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Sudbury instructor celebrated with national architecture award

Jonathan Kabumbe of McEwen School of Architecture wins Canadian Architecture Award of Excellence
Jonathan Kabumbe, a sessional instructor at the McEwen School of Architecture in Sudbury, has received a Canadian Architecture Award of Excellence for his master's thesis project, the Kushirikiana Architectural Guide.

Sudbury’s Jonathan Kabumbe has been recognized by the 2023 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence.

Kabumbe was celebrated with a Student Award of Excellence for the Kushirikiana Architectural Guide, which was his thesis project while studying to complete his master’s degree at the McEwen School of Architecture. After graduating last spring, Kabumbe is now a sessional instructor at the school.

In a statement, the school summarized Kabumbe’s project: “The thesis investigates how the building process can help transform the image of women and support the prevention of sexual violence in Eastern Congo.

“The result is an architectural guide allowing architects, clients, end users and NGOs (non-government organizations) to empower women during the construction process. 

“The guide is then applied in the design of a women’s construction and agricultural centre in Businga, South Kivu province, in which women can develop new hands-on skills, endorse higher responsibilities and elevate their social status.”

Kabumbe’s work was praised by the judges as “incredible” for its breadth, especially given it was done by a student.

“It’s very hard to get from these big subjects to an argument that works down to the specificity of a brick module, and it’s even rarer to see a student getting to this level of development,” juror Claire Weisz said in her assessment.

Kabumbe was one of three students to be recognized among the 18 recipients for 2023.

Canadian Architect has sponsored the national awards program since 1967.