Refugees Designing Future Settlements with Patrick Muvunga

Refugees Designing Future Settlements with Patrick Muvunga—Artist, Designer and Builder at OPPORTUNIGEE with introduction and Q+A with Vishaan Chakrabarti

Questions can be submitted via Vimeo chat OR by going to and using event code #future.

Discussion | September 9 | 8:00 AM-9:00 AM
Free and open to the Public!
Patrick Muvunga is a talented designer, builder and co-founder of Opportunigee, a community of 300 refugee entrepreneurs and innovators based in the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda. Nakivale is the oldest refugee settlement in Uganda with a population over 130,000, a place where Patrick has lived for 10 years.

Patrick’s ‘Refugees Designing Future Settlements’ lecture will illuminate his work bringing dignity, joy and beauty to the place he now calls home. Patrick shares how his work goes beyond emergency shelter towards dignified housing and vibrant public spaces. Through mentorship programs, serendipitous encounters with place makers, and technology hubs such as Newlab, Patrick continues to design and build for and with his community in Nakivale.

Patrick will share his experience with creating Opportunigee and prototyping various building projects in Nakivale including a public use amphitheater, a learning hub, geodesic domes, jerry can brick house and offices comprised of earth brick bags. As well, Patrick will detail his new collaboration with Newlab’s Beyond Place Studio to develop new models for sustainable resettlement and applying appropriate technology to things that matter. The goal of the studio is to reimagine what settlements can look like in the face of a global rise in vulnerable communities and displaced populations and aims to create new models of dignified housing and vibrant public spaces using local materials with a focus on refugee-led design and innovation.
Patrick Muvunga, Co-founder Opportunigee: Artist, builder and designer. Resident of Nakivale Settlement for 10 years.
Patrick studied mechanical engineering in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo at ITIG Don Bosco, this is where his love for technical drawings and architectural design comes from. Nakivale refugee settlement has been a canvas for him, a place to express his passion for designing unique constructions such as bottles houses, geodesic domes and even an amphitheatre. He also co-founded NakivART, a project that showcases and supports artwork in Nakivale, in 2014. His artworks include paintings, sculptures and comic books illustrating various topics refugees can relate to- such as his 2014 comic book 'Stella', which discusses how to deal with trauma. In 2015, Patrick joined SINA Uganda to learn more about entrepreneurship, mentoring and life coaching. The following year he co-founded Opportunigee to help young refugees in Nakivale become entrepreneurs and job creators. He has a certificate in Peace Building and Trauma Healing from Pax Cultura. Patrick is an expert in mentoring refugees startups and empowering individual creativity and vision in Nakivale.