Design. Develop. Build. Africa

Summer 2017
Daniel Baerlecken
ARCH 4805
ARCH 4823
ARCH 4833

In 2016/17 students from three universities, Georgia Tech, Have Tech, and PBSA Düsseldorf, are collaborating to design and build a residential compound in the Volta region in Ghana. Working with the NGO Meeting Bismarck, the community of Have, local and international engineers and the department for Health of the Volta region, the project aims to revive vernacular construction techniques such as bamboo through digital design methodology and c raft. The Midwives Quarters Have provide housing for midwives and international aid workers to enable their work at the Health Clinic in Have. In addition to housing, the project will also provide space for newborn workshops on breast feeding, caretaking and vacination. As Andres Lepik points out, Africa’s fast urbanization and privatization of urban planning often shows little comprehension of the cultural perspective of architecture. Entire cities are planned as “new towns” – Tema in Ghana, based on English New Towns (Crimson Architectural Historians, 2012) - ignoring actual needs and indigenous culture. Considering this context, the pedagogical framework of this project aims to increase the student service learning experience as a multi-layered education that builds upon an understanding of local culture, local materials and construction techniques, of the local economy, of the local ecology, of social conditions and of local regulations and politics. See our program website for additional information.

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