Seminar #GoFrugal: "Constellations of Infrastructural Incompleteness"


Constellations of Infrastructural Incompleteness. Vignettes of Frugal Technologies in Nairobi

p gumaWhile urban infrastructures everywhere are often portrayed as underlying a blend of ambiguities and ambivalences, studies have sometimes taken a binary approach. Infrastructures in the urban global North are sometimes depicted as closed, stable, seamless, banal and complete, and those in the urban global South as largely open, precarious, lively, dynamic and incomplete. Within these debates, there is often a subtle expectation for domains to aspire to evolve as complete systems, where those that do not appear to yield or conform are regarded as failed or deficient. In this lecture, Urban developer Price Guma, argues that instead of devising universalizing solutions to processes of infrastructural heterogeneity, it is perhaps better to see infrastructures for what they really are: as emergent, shifting, and in that sense, incomplete. He makes this case drawing from key scenarios from the diffusion and appropriation of frugal mobile-phone-based technologies in Nairobi’s water and energy sectors.

Read more about the speaker, prince Guma, at the website of the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa.

Are you interested in joining this Frugal Seminar Session? You can register for this event by sending an e-mail to Merel Molenaar (