Founded in 2010, NLÉ is fulfilling its mission to shape the physical, human, cultural and economic architectures of developing cities and communities.

At Home

Promoting Diversity and Coexistence of Humanity and the Environment.

Solutions for the Megacentury

NLÉ believes that developing cities are the home of global advancement. Thus they will provide the sustainable solutions necessary for the environmental, infrastructural and human challenges posed by this megacentury.

One of the megacentury’s dominant and unstoppable trends is urbanization. The outcome is a growing number of megacities worldwide, all of which face the same challenges. Within this context  just as Silicon Valley acts as the home for new technologies, it is the cities of the developing world that will generate responsible solutions for the larger world.

As thinkers, creatives and agents of change, NLÉ’s role is to reveal these solutions and apply them so that we shape the physical, human and commercial structures that are critical to the near future of human civilization.

Our activities encompass city development research and strategy advisory service, conceptualization and creative structuring, architecture and product design, infrastructure design, arts and cultural urban interventions.

Across all these fields we explore the infusion of relevant global ideas and the advanced technologies that add sustainable value. And our global and diverse network of experts and collaborators, as well as our products and our services, are of world-class quality and integrity. At the same time, we ensure authentic relevance through the deployment of local resources, capacity building and economy of means.

In this way, NLÉ acts as a new language for shaping and advancing the multiple physical and human architectures of the megacentury.

‘At Home’ in the city

NLÉ means ‘at home’ in Yoruba, the language of Africa’s first truly urbanized population. From the 11th century onwards, the Yoruba lived in a network of West African cities characterized by sophisticated commercial and governing structures.

But within NLÉ’s philosophy, the home is much more than walls, floors and ceilings. Instead, it refers to the fundamental building blocks of the city, to everyday life and the uses of public space in the emerging and endlessly complex urbanisms of developing regions.

Due to rapid urbanization and the forces of globalization, the people in such cities have redefined our understanding of cities through their innovative and economical appropriation of spaces, materials and infrastructure. The environment streets, bridges, side walks, raw materials and junk are acquired, cultivated and reconstituted to achieve maximum necessities through minimum means. This creates unique organizations and advanced social structures in which people live, work, trade and play in ways that are now rarely seen in the ‘developed worlds’ which are now ironically the ‘less developing world’.

We believe that these colorful and seemingly chaotic worlds hold some of the solutions to the problems faced by cities in this century of mega needs. Our aim is to work with, and be inspired by, these worlds so that we create more eco-nomical and responsible interventions for/with the people who have made them home. In doing so, we explore the infusion of relevant global ideas and advanced technologies that add sustainable values to architecture, urbanism and everyday products.

Our international network of experts and creatives from diverse fields contribute to this process. In this way, NLÉ is a new language for shaping and advancing the multiple physical and human architectures of the megacentury.


Silver Lion award for a Promising Young Participant at the Venice Biennale 2016 for the Makoko Floating School

Makoko Floating School shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Makoko Floating School High Commended for the Architectural Review’s Design Awards for Emerging Architecture

Makoko Floating School nominated for UN Habitat’s Scroll of Honour Award

Makoko Floating School shortlisted for the London Design Museum’s Design of the Year Awards

Regional Holcim Award 2014 for Chicoco Radio