Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi

Dezeen Awards 2022 judges Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi

Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi are co-founders of Cave Bureau, a Nairobi based bureau of architects and researchers exploring architecture and urbanism within nature.

Cave Bureau's work addresses and decodes both anthropological and geological contexts of the postcolonial African city, through drawing, storytelling, construction, and the curation of performative events of resistance. The bureau develops systems and structures that improve human condition, without negatively impacting the natural environment and social fabric of communities. By conducting research studies into caves within and around Nairobi, they aim to return to the curiosity of our early ancestors while confronting the challenges of contemporary rural and urban living.

Kabage Karanja founded Cave Bureau in 2014 alongside Stella Mutegi. A natural environment enthusiast, he leads the bureau's geological and anthropological investigations into architecture and nature. Karanja is a serial sketcher and storyteller, communicating cave thinking in relation to both built and natural environments.

Stella Mutegi is an architect and spelunker, leading the technical department and orchestrating the seamless coordination of ideas into built form. She partakes in all Cave Bureau expeditions and surveys into caves within the Great Rift Valley, later steering those geological and anthropological investigations towards a unique architectural product.

Recent exhibitions of Cave Bureau's work include: 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice 2021, awarded a special mention for the installation titled Obsidian Rain; The World Around Summit, Guggenheim Museum, 2021; Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, 2019-20 and the London Festival of Architecture, 2018.


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