Cass students host a timber workshop in Freetown

Students involved were Joe Davis, Alex McClean, Dominic Dudley, Stephane Chadwick and Imran Sabur.

Date: 03 August 2013

Researchers from the Projects Office at The Cass have been collaborating on a live research project in Freetown, Sierra Leone since 2008 with local NGO, CESO.

Students, Joe Davis, Alex McClean, Dominic Dudley, Stephane Chadwick and Imran Sabur from Diploma Unit 6 together with The Cass furniture student Tom Harvey, travelled to Freetown with Professor Maurice Mitchell and researchers Bo Tang and Shamoon Patwari in July 2013.

Investigations were based around cultural and physical surveys of two urban neighbourhoods alongside a furniture-making workshop at the Ivor Leigh Memorial School in Kaningo, constructed by Projects Office researchers in 2011.

Working with community carpenters and apprentices, the team used locally sourced timber to prototype classroom desks, benches, blackboards and shelving. Learning from existing techniques, the group adapted and refined the sole use of hand tools and timber to develop appropriate furniture.

An exhibition of live research to date was also showcased at the British Council Sierra Leone HQ, as a celebration of the rich architectural heritage of Freetown.

Completed classroom furniture


 Planing timber
Planing timber Freetown


 Making battens
Making Battens Freetown


 Notching blackboard frames
Notching blackboard frames Freetown


 Trainee carpenters
Trainee carpenters Freetown


 Classroom in use
1 classroom in use freetown


 Workshop: tablets and blackboard
workshop tablets and blackboard


Classroom freetown


 Map of Kaningo: Student survey
Map of Kaningo students survey freetown


 Bridge at Kaningo: Student Survey
Bridge at Kaningp, Freetown


 Student survey: Measuring levels
Students surveys measuring levels freetown


 Presenting a resident with the surveys of their home
Presenting a resident with the surveys of the home Freetown