Lagos/ Nigeria:
From everyday practices
towards practical-normative
urban planning

Summer Semester 22
Urban Design Studio
12,5 ECTS + 5 ECTS (optional) Fabienne Hoelzel Ute Vees
LBA Antonia Dürig


Fieldtrip to Lagos and DAAD Spring School in Lagos: April 25-29
(travel grants available)

Midterms: May 18

Travel to Katowice and participation at the 11th WUF: June 26-29
(travel grants available)

Finals: July 6

Opening end-of-year exhibition (“Rundgang”): July 15

University of Lagos, Department of Architecture

Heinrich Böll Foundation Abuja

Please do register as soon as possible w/ Ute Vees,

Lagos is a megacity like no other. Not so much because it is predicted to become the world’s most populous city ¬– with approximately 80 million inhabitants in 2100 (Hoornweg and Pope, 2016) – but rather because Lagos has nothing that is really public.

There’s no crystal ball, nevertheless, it is likely to say that Lagos will never have (functioning) centralized services. Classic urban planning and classic developmentalism call for large-scale infrastructure and centrally organized urban services. The logic, followed by the UN and development banks establishes a strong link between well-functioning and accessible infrastructure on the one hand and development and prosperity on the other hand. Not in Lagos. Even though the already big West African metropolis has almost no public infrastructure and services, it has become Africa’s top startup ecosystem (Technext, 2021), for instance. On the micro-scale, residents thrive by giving resourceful responses to the conditions of partly extreme vulnerability (Harrison, 2006). As a result, and despite of the lack of an effective and efficient central government, the city functions quite well.

The urban design studio “Lagos/ Nigeria: From everyday practices towards practical-normative urban planning approaches” in the summer semester 2022 will study the success of Lagosians in constructing lives at a micro-scale first. The everyday practice of five to ten residents from various communities in Lagos will be scrutinized in detail, implemented as DAAD-funded Spring School in collaboration with the University of Lagos, Department of Architecture. The methodologies include interviews, critical and ethnographic mapping, photography and filming. Preliminary to the field work in Lagos, the students will establish a deeper understanding of topics like food, water, shelter, health, movement, etc. Back in Stuttgart, the everyday practices will be processed, documented and systemized (midterms with external guests). The collection of everyday practices will be the base for the development of a different approach to urban planning that can be summarized as a shift from technical-instrumental urban planning approaches towards practical-normative urban planning approaches (Harrison, 2006).

In a joint group work, the students will develop a mission statement and an idea book for making cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, using the example of Lagos and rooted in today’s everyday practices. The results will be presented and discussed at a workshop at the 11th World Urban Forum (WUF) in Katowice/ Poland, upon invitation of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Abuja (June 26-30). The semester output concludes with a presentation in Stuttgart with external guests (finals) and with a contribution to the end-of-year exhibition (“Rundgang”).

Call for Participation:
DAAD Spring School Nigeria

Everyday Practices in
African Urban Realities
April, 24-30, 2022

Summer Semester 22
DAAD Spring School

The program will bring together 5 students
enrolled in a German University and 10 students
enrolled in a Nigerian University. No additional
fees will be charged to attend the Spring School.
Travel grants for students from Germany are

– Letter of motivation (1 page);
– Compelling portfolio with 1 to 3 projects (max.
10 pages and 10 MB);
– Short CV (max 2 pages);
– Letter of recommendation from professors/
supervisors/tutors (max. 1 page)
– to: by 15 March
2022, 12 PM (noon), CET

Ute Vees,

The Spring School >Everyday Practices in Urban African Realities< will study everyday practices of residents from various communities in Lagos in detail and discuss their meaning for future urban planning and design approaches. The methodologies include interviews, critical and ethnographic mapping, photography and filming. Participants will work in cross-cultural Nigerian-German groups on co-production in the city and community-led development. Schedule and deadlines 15.02.22 Publication of call for applications 15.03.22 Application deadline 25.03.22 Notification of succesful applicants 24.04.22 Arrival of the students from Germany 25.04.22 Start of DAAD Spring School 29.04.22 End of Spring School 30.04.22 Departure of the students from Germany