Is truly innovative architecture only possible with big money and hightech ability? Or is it the opposite? Maybe it is the lack of these that creates an empty space in which new ideas can be born? If so, the revolution can start anywhere...welcome to WHAT IF Nairobi!

WHAT IF? is a self-initiated architecture and design campaign that explores and communicates contemporary and visionary ideas for the built environment that affect our daily lives. The campaign showcases great design ideas seeking to inspire everyone from fundis, architects, designers, developers, investors down to the average mwananchi (public). We look to both celebrate but also stir up debate within the city of Nairobi in an attempt to offer viable solutions to many of our city’s current and pressing issues.

We should be reminded through WHAT IF of our freedom of expression and our need to be creative. In creativity lies the catalyst for social and economic regeneration. The real big idea here is to witness a new breathe of life in our built environment and get closer to our ‘utopia’.

The project concentrates primarily on the cityscape, investigating critical urban challenges [water, energy, transport and so on] and proposing a set of alternative solutions. Each project will focus on a particular aspect of Nairobi’s built environment ranging from cultural and retail centres to parks and bridges.

The series of aristic impressions will be exhibited through a variety of media, including web, exhibition space, handbook, and most importantly a series of advertising billboards spread across Nairobi. The exhibition will run during the month of September 2012. The billborads are expected to go up on Monday 24th Sep 2012.

WHAT IF? will be a recurring yearly event focusing on a different city/town each time. Next year will be WHAT IF? Mombasa 2013.

This is our contribution to the public urban realm of Nairobi.

Karuga Koinange (Founder)