Kate Spade & Co. approached GAC early in 2013 about working with Association Dushy, a cooperative group of artisans located in Masoro, Rwanda, to help in crafting handmade goods for their three brands: Kate Spade, Jack Spade, and Kate Spade Saturdays. The project entitled On Purpose is an initiative started by Kate Spade & Co. to identify craftspeople in developing countries to partner with. They provide financial and management training and an initial influx of funding for equipment and facility upgrades to kick-start the partnership, with the intent that their future involvement is one of expand Association Dushy’s market reach through partnerships rather than providing financial aid. In their words, "the concept of ON PURPOSE is empowering, new and unique: we're teaching a group of 150 women in Masoro, Rwanda to become a profitable supplier to Kate Spade + Company brands. Our goal is for their economic stability to positively transform the entire community. (That's 20,000 people.)"
The focus on facilitating the independence to cooperatives and emerging groups of artists and craftspeople through education and access aligned well with our mission to empower people to have a greater impact on their own built environment. We began developing a relationship with Kate Spade & Co by sharing our research and experiences working in Rwanda,and with the people of Masoro since 2008. From those discussions the needs of the Association Dushy and Kate Spade & Co partnership came into focus as well as an understanding of how this endeavor could benefit the village of Masoro as a whole.
PRACTICES + FORMS
Existing buildings, in various states of disrepair, formed the beginnings of a campus. We expanded this logic in the placement of new buildings and in the location of retaining walls interior to the site which allowed us to define various exterior spaces. Three new structures (workshop, storage building, and bathrooms) complemented the renovation of two existing structures (administrative building and small workshop) along with exterior spaces ( outdoor workshop and loading area).
The various elevational changes correspond to changes in the scale of the material people are working with. Raw materials are delivered in large formats (sheets, rolls, full length elements) and remain on that delivery level until divided into smaller pieces, or products, which then move up to other works spaces, storage, packaging, and so forth. By dividing the topography of the workshop campus into levels we were able to reduce the need for ramps and double vertical circulation space with other programs.
Design + Consulting Phase: 04.2013 - 07.2013
Construction Phase: 08.2013 - 12.2013
Masoro Sector, Rulindo District, Northern Province, Rwanda
- Community Facilities
Built Area - X m² (gross)
- Withheld at owners request
- Michael Leighton Beaman
- Zaneta Hong
- James Setzler
- Yutaka Sho
- Kate Spade & Co.
- Association Dusykigriane
- Kate Spade & Co.