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Brighton student wins global competition to promote inclusive nightlife

A University of Brighton student has won €50,000 to build a music studio and nightclub from decommissioned shipping containers in his native Kenya.

Jesse Mugambi, who is studying for a Master’s degree in Sustainable Design at the university’s Moulsecoomb campus, has been confirmed as one of two winners of Jägermeister’s #SaveThe Night competition, which supports nightlife projects around the world.

His ‘Studio Can-V’ project beat over 300 submissions from 50 countries to be named joint-winner of this year’s competition, splitting the €100,000 prize fund with a fellow winner from Northern Ireland.

Jesse’s project, developed during his time as an undergraduate and now a Master’s student at the University of Brighton, will create a versatile space that transitions from a daytime hub for young DJs to a club during the night. The mobile sound studio will be built by local artisans in Nairobi from repurposed shipping containers.

By using local vernacular designs to promote youth cultural identities, Jesse seeks to drive positive change through music, dance, and connection. ‘Studio Can-V’ will not only be a physical space but a platform for artists to break into new markets, with the scope of scaling up across Africa.

A passionate DJ himself, Jesse said: “Having faced challenges in pursuing my own passion for music when I was younger, I’m driven by the belief that there are countless young and old people longing for opportunities to explore their musical itch. I aspire to create those spaces where they can really explore their creativity and pursue their musical dreams without constraint.”

“My aim is to use this project to showcase contemporary Kenyan identities. Studio Can-V promotes inclusivity by foregrounding the voices of young DJs from various communities and backgrounds, who represent the future of an equal society. It will help build relationships across the industry and create new gateways for those yet to break into the sector.”

According to Jesse, who graduated with BA(Hons) Architecture from the University of Brighton in 2020 and is currently studies on the MA Sustainable Design course: “This project has been a journey spanning about four years, from the name creation to its recent recognition. It’s been an interesting process, merging my passions for architecture, sustainable design, and music into one vision. Throughout that time, I’ve received massive support from friends, mentors, and lecturers and professors at the University of Brighton who’ve helped.

Jägermeister set up the #SaveTheNight Fund in 2023 to support projects aimed at improving the beauty, safety, and sanctity of dance floors around the world.

Jesse’s mobile sound studio project in Nairobi was selected together with another project in Northern Ireland for demonstrating a global passion for enhancing safety, inclusion, and sustainability in nightlife. The two winners will each get half of €100,000 for their individual projects.

Kai Dechsling, Director of Global Culture & Experiential Marketing at Mast-Jägermeister SE said: “An inclusive, diverse, and safe nightlife opens up unique pathways for self-expression worldwide. It is a space of freedom and creates sanctuaries. The two projects in Kenya and Northern Ireland address crucial socio-political issues and actively contribute to developing nightlife in a positive direction.”

ArchitectureBA ArchitectureEducationinternationalinternational studentJägermeister Save The NightJägermeister Save The Night WinnerMaster's DegreeSave The NightSave The Night Fund 2023studentstudent lifeSustainabilitySustainableSustainable DesignSustainable Design Master'sUniversity of BrightonUniversity of Brighton student

Clare Cornwell • March 14, 2024

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