Bidi Bidi Refugee Music & Arts Centre revealed at London Design Biennale

Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre in northern Uganda aims to reframe the narrative around what it means to be a refugee. 

Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre is an interdisciplinary project led by to​.org — a platform operating in venture capital, philanthropy and the creative space — in collaboration with leading international design practice Hassell, Kampala design studio LocalWorks, and global sustainable development consultancy Arup.

Currently under construction, this powerful example of humanitarian architecture will provide a space for creative expression, training, and performance in Africa’s biggest refugee settlement, which is currently home to over 270,000 refugees who have fled violence in neighbouring South Sudan.

As part of a larger mission to reframe the narrative around the word refugee’, the Bidi Bidi Pavilion at London Design Biennale showcased the unique process, architectural elements, and technical solutions that underpin the Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre building, with stories from the refugee and non-refugee communities whose collaboration is bringing the project to life.

Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre was shown at The London Design Biennale 2023 at Somerset House.


Uganda, Africa


May 31, 2023

To​.org brought together architects, ethnographers, musicians, and activists — some refugees, some not — to find innovative solutions for creating opportunities and infrastructure for the most vulnerable. Because of this collaboration, the Bidi Bidi refugee community will have a space to play, learn, perform, create, and share… setting a new precedent for how we think about, talk about, and create opportunities for displaced people.”

Nachson Mimran, Co-founder and Creative Executive Officer of to​.org

The Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre has been designed to empower refugees, providing the community with a space which encourages musical talent and creativity. We wanted to use knowledge and techniques gathered from designing for extreme climates and large scale arts centres in cities around the world and apply this to Bidi Bidi to develop spaces that are both environmentally conscious and harness talent from the community.”

Xavier de Kestelier, Head of Design

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