Following a longstanding collaboration with ICT enabling charity Computer Aid International, Squire and Partners were in Bogota, Columbia, on 26 May 2016 to launch the first Dell Solar Learning Lab – nicknamed the Zubabox – made to their bespoke design.
The Zubabox (translates from Nyanja as Sun Box) was formally handed over to local youth foundation Tiempo de Juego, which works to creative positive change for young people in Cazuca, near Bogota – a community marginalised by poverty and violence. The project aims to provide a safe and sustainable environment where local children can develop social and digital skills, and a friendly and inclusive community as an alternative to the prevalent culture of gangs and crime.
The Zubabox is an update to Computer Aid International’s basic unit which is currently deployed in 10 locations across Africa, and comprises a recycled shipping container with solar panels on the roof, making use of refurbished computers donated from the UK. Squire and partners’ intent was to create a more cost efficient, practical and effective prototype.
Their final design is a simple modular system that can operate individually or as part of a group. It maximises the possible amount of openings within the limits of the container’s structural integrity, ensuring cross ventilation and natural lighting. The larger roof allows for more solar panels and creates a shaded deck which expands the the usable area facilitating integration with the existing community.