“I have always had a desire for Architecture and that is what I want to do” — Fiona Azumah. IB Diploma 2 student at Association International School.

Fiona Azumah is a current IB Diploma 2 student at Association International School. She is part of the batch that will be leaving for tertiary education in a few months, with the hopes of studying Architecture. One of the requirements granting her a safe exit from high-school is her Art exhibition which she had been developing since joining the IB Diploma programme in August 2019. For Ms. Azumah, the desire to create better spaces began at a tender age when she would drive with her parents and notice shelterless individuals begging by the roadside.

A faculty member interacting with Fiona about her pieces

Interestingly, such memories were carried over to her IB Diploma art course when she finally found an avenue to speak of what she saw as a child in an attempt to have more people join the movement.

Visual art has become one of the most effective ways to draw attention to a social problem. It allows viewers to reason with the creator and imagine their idealized world. The architecture of inequality, for instance,  is one form of visual activism that illustrates a social decay and inherently compels the audience to move towards change.

“What I wanted to do was explore different structures, especially in this part of the world (Ghana). I started with how structures were made at the beginning (huts) and developed these into modern architecture. I also wanted to emphasize the connection between the three socio-economic divides; lower, middle, and upper classes, and how hard it is to move from the different distinctions”

“My pieces intend to make my viewers aware of these socio-economic divides and hopefully have them help solve the problem in any way”

A faculty member views one of Fiona’s intriguing 3D pieces

Students and a faculty member visit Fiona’s exhibition to learn more about urban architecture and the economic divisions it speaks about.

Economic disparity is revealed through housing. According to Fiona, there are better ways society could mitigate the issue of economic disparities. Moreso, it is a call to each architect to meet individual needs when attempting to create affordable, habitable spaces–something she hopes to do at the University.

Fiona hopes to come back after tertiary education and implement some of these changes within her Ghanaian community.