Events - in Africa

Building Workshop: Construction of the eARThouse for the Arts

When: July 13 – October 14, 2016

Where: Abetenim Arts Village, Abetenim, Ashanti Region of Ghana

Cost: Participation fee: 300€ / Accommodation: 70€/week Food: 70€/week

Deadline: May 31, 2016 (The minimum participation is 2 weeks)

Who can participate: Volunteers worldwide

Organizers: NKA Foundation  and Local Actions for Development (LOAD)


The eARThouse Project for the Arts: An affordable housing prototype for the arts to provide a creative platform of hands-on knowledge and a social-economic development of rural villages

In August 2015, NKA Foundation organized the 3rd Earth and Architecture Competition to promote its activity on the site that it occupies in Ghana. As 2nd prize winners, we now have the opportunity to build our proposal in the village of Abetenim, in central Ghana, through a three-month intensive workshop on site. The main goal of this workshop is to bring together local builders, craftspeople and enthusiastic volunteers to share the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved to create a built environment in order to strengthen the earth construction in Ghana’s long tradition of sustainable housing.


On top of providing a community in need with new housing solutions, volunteers will learn how to build a earth house using a sitespecific approach, traditional practices and encountering local materials, construction and community. They will immerse in the rich Ashanti’s culture to explore and learn by collaborating on the building process and they will have the chance to visit local attractions participating in field trips. Anybody interested in this process is welcome to join.

We need students of landscape architecture to locate the completed unit and blend it with the rural surrounding, interior design to organize the interior spaces, product the furniture and fittings, photography/video arts for a documentary and artists to create works of art to adorn the various spaces.


Workshop Program
The time for the realization of the different steps is approximate. It will depend on the weather conditions, the material availability and the relation with local workers. Every week we will talk about the project design to study specific solution and refinements related with local the community needs and ideas. During every sessions we will organize filed trips to discover the Ghana culture and we will arrange specific seminars with local experts in order to understand the local construction methods and share our knowledge with them.

About the Foundation

nka-foundation-logoNka Foundation is a nonprofit organization in the United States that exists to serve underserved communities in Africa. They have a focus on human capital development through use of the arts, broadly defined to include visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, design, new media/film production, arts history, arts criticism, arts education, arts administration and curatorship, and emerging others. In 2009, it was incorporated as a non-profit seeking company under the laws of the Republic of Ghana to carry on the work of bringing together motivated creative individuals in arts and technology, arts groups and supportive others to create cross-cultural synergy for community arts practice and infrastructure to support their continued professional growth and enhance the social, cultural and economic vitality of rural communities. The Foundation will be registered and develop residency facilities in other countries.


About the organizers:


LOAD is a non-profit design association of young architects interested towards marginal urban contexts. We work with a site-specific approach, in terms of cultural diversity, local resources, social and humanitarian development. We use architecture as a hand-made construction process which closely evolves from users’ needs, following functional and cost-effective principles. Building within human-scale method enable many social links in both urban and rural communities, because it involves the optimization of the techniques, sharing of hands-on knowledge, more local materials and workforce, thus cooperative work and participatory design among dwellers. Each products basically aims to address common and specific requirements due to the skills ingenuity of its producer. Likely, buildings should be responsible for dwelling issues which are fulfill by great attention focused on the tradition and innovation. For this reason, community development and regeneration projects are chances to enhance human resources, increase creative capacities and promote cultural identities. The sharing of knowledge between locals and experts is therefore a necessary conditions for the addition of new products within the existing habitat. We dial with emergency situations occurring within the communities using a global and multicultural approach. We adopt a user-centered design, emphasizing self-build and mutual assistance aspects. We believe these are the basis for a very adaptive architecture. The great movements of people and social melting pot nowadays, the dwelling needs to arrange the spaces according to user’s culture and allows them to live together and establish new relationships, with no borders and barriers.
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