AFRICAN ARCHITECTURE INTERNSHIPS: How to Reinvent the African Mud Hut
(See review of one of our recent Projects: http://www.archdaily.com/289081/how-to-re-invent-the-african-mud-hut/)
PROJECT SITE: Abetenim Arts Village, which is a developing demonstration site and training center, located 40 km Southeast of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
WHAT: Design-build camp for learning-by-doing on African architecture
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: Open to all students and graduates of architecture, landscape architecture, visual arts, design, engineering, and school teams
DATES: Year-round and lengths-of-stay from 1-6 months
COST: The organizer provides accommodation at an arts village setting. As an intern, you will be assigned a task on an ongoing project or you can propose your own project. We suggest that participants apply for travel grants through their school, or other sources to cover their airfare, food and project.
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org for application form / www.nkafoundation.org
The recurrent problem with local buildings made of earth is sustainability. Mud houses in the area are poorly constructed. Wall cracks and water damage are commonplace. Hence, there is local stigma associated with mud architecture; it is only used by the very poor. We reason that a design-build intervention can help generate alternatives. Along these lines, one question keeps coming to our minds: How can we blend the vernacular and contemporary traditions to reinvent the African mud hut to help generate choices for the rural population?
The design-build project takes in the theoretical frame of the book, Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt by a known Egyptian architect, Hassan Fathy. In it, he puts forward that an informed person can, in fact, self-build durable, aesthetic and highly functional buildings without using expensive materials. The project is organized by Nka Foundation, a development NGO run by arts practitioners and volunteers. Project site is a living learning arts village in the Ashanti Region that invites creative persons from around the world to come to interact with the local community via projects such as social architecture, community arts and social services to improve local livelihoods to alleviate poverty. Everybody is welcome to our arts village: Interns and professionals in all of the arts, architecture, design, social work, and innovators seeking new challenges, or spaces to share ideas.
The architecture internship is a hands-on, fulls-on site-specific experience in a location outside of the Western culture. Work side-by-side with local artisans to generate an alternative using sustainable materials from the environment while furthering your knowledge of the intersections between art, architecture and community. Experience how a design problem, budget and site-specific dynamics such as materials, indigenous technologies and community can provoke resourceful thinking and hybridization. In the process, the student will learn to design what is buildable to make a well rounded graduate. For the professional, you will find the hands-on design and construction experience a pause from your office work stress to rediscover the rudiments of architecture and nuances that can refresh your practice. Join us! Show the world how to reinvent the African mud hut!