“If architecture is going to nudge, cajole, and inspire a community to challenge the status quo into making responsible changes, it will take the subversive leadership of academics and practitioners who keep reminding students of the profession’s responsibilities.” –Samuel Mockbee
In an effort to plunge maturing architecture, landscape and urban design students into ‘authenticity’ – this studio will take students deep into the pool of reality where they can personally experience the desperate needs of a community in the developing world. The EthiopiaStudio will focus on the research, comprehensive development and building design of an orphanage, chapel, medical clinic and guest house for the community of Soddo, located 250 miles south of the capitol city Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, Africa. In partnership with an American, non-profit organization currently working in the community, the EthiopiaStudio will develop the master plan, landscape and architectural design and construction documents for the immediate construction of these desperately needed facilities to support a community subject to extreme poverty and famine.
The focus of this comprehensive design studio is to emphasize reality, survival and hope through design; synthesizing and shifting the typical traits of academic work. The EthiopiaStudio will fundamentally function like a real-world project team; team members will have varied, integral and necessary responsibilities that will serve team as a whole, as well as the ultimate needs of the client. The project, called Wolaitta Village, will be built with local materials in a manner that honors the indigenous culture of the Wolaitta region. Construction will be performed by Ethiopian builders and artisans; the facilities will be staffed by Ethiopians and will provide employment for many people in Soddo; thus creating hope and opportunity through meeting the desperate needs of the children and community.