The Rural Housing Studio is a studio dedicated to help underprivileged rural families in developing countries. The targeted communities know what type of housing they would like to live in, however, they are unable to design and engineer them without external help. Regular development aid offers ready built solutions without involving the inhabitants and their communities into the process. The rural housing studio offers internship (BSc) and graduation positions (BSc & MSc) to students, who will advise and inform rural families to build their desired housing together with their community. Ultimately it is suppose to generate self-reliant and resilient communities with improved houses, which do not depend on development aid programs anymore.
The Rural Housing Studio consists of 4 Teams. The project of each team will focus on the family needs, will try to establish participatory design with respect to the users and to the culture of the tribe. Among others the scope is to design a house according to the principles of sustainability and using local materials and with respect to the landscape of Mt. Elgon, nature and local people, giving the opportunity to the family to live in a self - sustained way.
You can FOLLOW the experiences of each team on the website of the rural housing studio!
The studio is lead by researcher and architect Michiel Smits (PhD candidate) who has been working as a pro bono architect since 2004 in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and has an extensive expertise in helping rural communities.