Nka Foundation













Design-And-Build for Ghana

Vernacular African Architecture Residencies

WHAT: Residency opportunities for learning-by-doing in vernacular African architecture. 

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: Open to all students and recent graduates of Structural Design, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and others interested in sustainable architecture and rural community development projects in Africa. 

WHERE: Sang Arts Village, Sang, Yendi District, Northern Region, Ghana

DURATION: Program duration is one month and can be extended by mutual agreement between February 2012 and February 2014

The Abetenim Arts Village is up and running for residency program.  Thanks to all of you who invested your time and other resources to make it a reality.  The next stop is Sang!  Sang is a rural township in Northern part of Ghana, 50 kilometers from Tamale.  Our plan is to construct the structures that make up the Sang Arts Village by maximum use of local labor, earth and other materials from the environment.  Specifically, the construction process and materials is vernacular involving cob, natural plaster, and grass thatching.  Traditionally, men are responsible for building cob houses, and women are responsible for plastering the walls and the floor.  Work is in progress.  And we have internship spots for college students, practitioners and others interested in learning-by-doing in vernacular African architecture.

It is a site-based opportunity to get hands on construction experience together with design responsibility.  A typical responsibility will be to design and build a structure for community arts activities.  It may be a small design-and-build task such as a hut for use as a studio/work space or a sleeping unit.  You can generate field drawings, field notes, process photos or video to record thoughts.  You have one month to design it, build it and document it!

As an intern practitioner, you will work with local artisans to realize your design project.  You will have to problem solve as you come up against technical issues and will gain cross-cultural experience from working with local artisans of varying levels of experience and oral English.

The design-and-build programme is conceived to bridge the gap between theory and practical application to make a well-rounded practitioner.  For students, it is an opportunity to experience the vernacular construction process first hand and to learn to design what is build-able.  For professionals, you will find the residency an inspirational break from your desk job to rediscover the rudiments of architecture and nuances that may refresh your practice.

(1) Cultural Orientation: Through site-specific, route-specific, and house-call tours of the local resources, the visitor gains awareness and skills necessary for successful adaptation to the community. 
(2) Independent Project: As an intern practitioner, you will work with local artisans (or resources persons) to realize your project.
(3) Community Day: Public celebration of the completed project by way of open house exhibition, public performance, etc.
(4) Project Dissemination: This entails post-project activities in or outside the country. The activities could be via real life such as a journal publication, gallery exhibition and seminal presentation; it could be by use of digital technologies.

COST: We provide free accommodation in an Arts Village setting or home stay for cultural immersion.  The international participant is responsible for own travel costs and proposed project.  We suggest that participants apply for travel grants or sponsorship in their country.

To apply, e-mail detail on what your plan to accomplish during the residency, your CV, and examples of your work to info@nkafoundation.org .  For details on our projects go to www.nkafoundation.org .  The application fee is $30/€23 for students and $50/€37 for non-students.  We must receive proof of your payment to secure your spot.  You can pay Online on our website (http://www.nkafoundation.org/supportus.html ) via WePay.com, or e-mail us to arrange for another payment method.


In Ghana:
Nka Foundation, Box Up 1115, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

In Burkina Faso:
Nka Foundation, 04 BP 399, Ouagadougou 04.


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