Ashanti Region

INTERNATIONAL PROJECT RESIDENCY: Call For Arts & Design Professionals in Ghana

Mail AttachmentGhana: Nka Foundation announces a call for project submissions from designers, architects, artists, and schools for its International Project Residency for a concentrated period of time from 1 to 6 months. In rural Ghana, the foundation runs Sang and Abetenim Arts Village, which are living learning centers that invite persons from around the world to immerse in local culture and put their practice to the test through projects in the arts and rural architecture. Vacationers, student interns, recent graduates and professionals are all welcome to our arts village.

Our village provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by doing on our current project or use their initiative to propose and complete own project to translate theories learnt in classrooms to practice. For the professionals, you will find the hands-on project and full-on experience with local culture a pause from your office/studio work to rediscover the rudiments of design and artistic nuances that can refresh your practice.

Individuals and project teams interested in participating in the program should e-mail to info@nkafoundation.org / www.nkafoundation.org for application. No application fee required. Inquiries for organizational and education partnerships are welcome. See our photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artinprocess/sets/72157621992680241, and http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkaprojects.

DOWNLOAD GHANA APPLICATION

Progress Report 10X10  SHELTER CHALLENGE

(How to Reinvent Vernacular African Mud Hut)

The design-build team of Karolina and Wayne of Atelier Switzer has completed a 10×10 Shelter Challenge at Abetenim Arts Village in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.The 10×10 Shelter Challenge is a hands-on, design experience focused on learning-by-doing in African architecture that is run by Nka Foundation till October 2013.The challenge is to design and build a learning shelter that measures 10 feet by 10 feet in a location outside of the Western culture, most precisely deep in the village in Ghana, where the convenience of development has not reached.  The goal of the shelter is to suggest a relationship between art and architecture by maximum use of local materials.

Karolina and Wayne of Atelier Switzer are both architects with about 8 years of experience in Europe and the United States.They, along with 5 builders, had 6 weeks to conduct the site analysis, design and construct their proposal which consisted of a pavilion that made use of corrugated zinc roofing over rammed earthen walls.  Here are photos from the just concluded project stay at Abetenim from September 7 to October 17, 2012.

Here is one of their progress reports from the site:

“…We are happy to report that construction is underway on the workshop and that the team here is working well together to make this project a collaborative one.  The first few days were spent observing the local earth-building methods and the condition of these structures- including the projects of past Abetenim Arts Village residents.We finally settled on constructing a rammed earthen building which would feature in essence two rooms: an “indoor” room and “outdoor area” for conducting classes- both of which would be sheltered beneath a large shed roof.Our site is a clearing adjacent to a sprawling mango tree, and visible from the road leading into the Arts Village.

Several reasons led us to pursue the rammed earth construction method.  Practically speaking, the local soil is an ideal mix of sand, clay and gravel, as well as being readily available.  The method of formwork and casting the earth is also a skill that is easily learned by almost any builder.  With a proper foundation and roof overhang, the earthen walls should prove to be very durable and serve as an example for the village that an earthen building can be both contemporary and withstand the natural elements over time.  Finally, we were inspired by the daily sight of residents using a large pole to pound fufu (the cassava diet staple).  This pounding is exactly the same method used to ram the fresh soil into the forms… which has led to our project being dubbed “obruni fufu” (white man’s fufu) by the local builders.”

Project Details:
Gross Area: 140 sf
Total Area (footprint): 496 sf
Project Cost: 6,500 Cedi (equivalent $3,500 USD)
Construction Duration: 5 weeks

The rural design-build challenge proffers a change in the way the young creative practitioners think about their work in our interconnected world.  As the participant, your ability to generate a locally responsive design concept is only one aspect of the site-based design challenge.  Unless your team is many in number, you must find a way to engage the community throughout the construction process.

One of the primary challenges you will face is to effectively communicate your idea to the community. Keep in mind that this is a multi-faceted obstacle, for instance:

  1. Unless you speak the local dialect of Twi, you will be dependant upon the community coordinator to interpret your intentions. This can be taxing for both the designer and the coordinator.  Local builders also have little to no experience with drawings.  You should plan in advance how best to illustrate your project to enable the local builders bring their gifts to the project. Simply stated, learning to deal well with the cultural and linguistic differences will turn what seems a difficult task into a most rewarding experience for everyone.
  2. There is a stigma associated with mud architecture, and the community is likely to resist any attempt to utilize it.  The sentiment is that mud buildings are only for the very poor and impoverished. However, their belief is not ungrounded. The local community has many examples of cob constructions which have eroded over time due to poor construction and water damage.
  3. As in most developing areas, the people of Abetenim will likely prioritize earning a daily wage over volunteering for you project. Your challenge will be to negotiate a wage that is fair to everyone involved, at the same time encouraging the community to view this project as one beneficial for themselves.  Expectations for typical wage rates can vary greatly depending on the person involved.

The Abetenim project site is a rural flat land.  The top soil is red earth mixed with gravel that is right for cob construction or the rammed earth method.  The nearby forests provide lumber for house roofing for a population of about 500 peasant farmers, small scale traders and craft persons.  The site-based 10×10 Shelter Challenge is open to all students and graduates of design, architecture, art, engineering and school teams interested in rural projects in Africa. For the local community, the realized space, as the design team of Karolina and Wayne of Atelier Switzer puts it, thus serves as an “example for the village that an earthen building can be both contemporary and withstand the natural elements over time”.  For students, the design-build challenge is a unique opportunity to learn hands-on the intricacies of working with vernacular constraints of economy, material and social dimensions in a real-life project aiming to sustain social harmony through art and architecture.  In the process, the student will to learn to design what is build-able to make a well rounded graduate.  For the professionals, you will find the hands-on design and construction experience a pause from your office work stress to rediscover the rudiments of architecture and nuances that can refresh your practice.

The 10×10 Shelter Challenge will run till October 2013 involving the following sessions: February 10-March 10, 2013; May 1-30, 2013; July 7-August 7, 2013; and October 3-31, 2013. Join us!  Show the world how to re-invent the vernacular African mud hut!  See press release on the 10×10 Shelter Challenge at http://prlog.org/11891895 and http://www.archdaily.com/269126. Enquiries info@nkafoundation.org  / www.nkafoundation.org

Call for Applications: INTERNATIONAL LAND ART WORKSHOP

Date: October 5-19, 2012

Venue: Sang Arts Village, Sang near Tamale in Northern Region of Ghana

Date: February 10-24, 2012

Venue: Abetenim Arts Village near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

International Land Art Workshop is a two-week group residency.  It is designed to bring together creative persons such as artists, architects and engineers to create works by use of materials from the environment.  The participants will live and work together in an Arts Village in a rural township for knowledge sharing and cross-fertilization of skills over the two-week period.  By land art (or earthworks, environmental art) we imply: (1) Works created with materials from the environment involving air, water, earth, stone, and wood, or (2) Site-specific installation (with natural or industrial materials) within a landscape to create an aesthetic experience.  Thus, the theme is open; but permanency of work is encouraged, ephemeral would be only if it is the most appropriate means to communicating the idea.  The realized work may become a part of the Arts Village or sited in a public space in nearby village.

Organizers will provide accommodation and food; an accepted applicant will contribute participation fee of $100 / €70 toward food.  The international participant is responsible for own travel costs and proposed project.  We suggest that participants apply for travel grants through their national art councils or other sources.  To apply, send CV, statement/sketch of your proposed work, and a sample of your existing work to info@nkafoundation.org/ nkaprojects@gmx.com.  Submissions will be reviewed until space is filled.  For details on our projects go to www.nkafoundation.org.

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.

PDF Land Art Workshop

DESIGN-AND-BUILD EARTH ARchiTecture RESIDENCY in Ghana

Download Call as PDF

http://www.focusonthearts.org
http://afropoets.tripod.com/eta
E-mail: africoae@gmail.com

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

ARchiTecture Residency: DESIGN-BUILD-AND-LIVE IN PROJECT

Target Group: International

Discipline: All the arts (visual, performing, literary and new genres), Architecture

Duration: 3 to 24 months according to project scope and nature of funding.

Organizing Institution: FOTA Foundation, a registered NGO in Ghana (FOTA is an acronym for “focus on the arts”)

This is a project-based residency opportunity for creative persons in earth architecture, earth art/ land art/ earthworks, engineering, and others who can design-and-build dwellings or non-dwellings out of earth and other materials from the environment.

Working individually or in teams, the participant in the ARchiTecture (art+architecture) Residency Project will live in the village next to our 800-acre Artist Village in development at Maabang in the Ashanti Region of Ghana until the participant completes the project on the 800 acreage and can move in. Project is open to traditional and  modern construction methods, and experimental approaches that are known to work. Submissions in methods such as adobe, cob, compressed earth, rammed earth,  ceramic house, poured/cast earth, papercrete, earthbag, straw-bale, stackwall, earth-shelter, earthship, and other best practices may therefore be in order. Integration of rainwater harvesting, solar and wind energy generation system are indispensable but not obligatory. The lot size and shape are open; you could build it on 120×120 ft plot, an acre, or more. The only criteria that should be met are:

  1. Using earth/ other materials from the environment in part or in whole
  2. Creating a durable non-dwelling or a dwelling of at least three-bed rooms ready to move in
  3. production budget of between €1,000 to €5,000 Euros.

Priority may be given to those who have funding or can secure part-funding to complete their conceived project

For Architecture, in the framework of Fathy (2000), the contemporary participant specialist will be assigned a local master builder and two assistants, or as relative to the
proposed process and structure. In sum, we will collaborate with the international participant to procure her/him the per diem and accommodation, and assistance from
local specialists and interns in constructing the structures in anticipation that cross- cultural interchange and growth in knowledge and skills will be commonplace.
International participants will be responsible for sourcing own return air ticket, insurance,  and other personal costs. One of our supporting area institutions is the School of Fine  Art, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) at Kumasi; so, academic presentations and relevant others are possible.

Individuals or teams wishing to participate in the project should submit formal application to the Artistic Committee; the application should include your work plan, CV/resume, and a sample of completed works or web site to: africoae@gmail.com. The work plan should include at least 3 sketches of the floor plan/ sections/ elevations, budget, and a description of the method/materials, participants, time estimates, etc required to complete the proposed project.

Conceptual basis

The art+architecture project takes in the theoretical frame of the book, Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt by a known Egyptian architect, Hassan Fathy. In it, he puts forward that an informed person can, in fact, self-build durable, aesthetic and highly functional buildings without using expensive materials. Along these lines, we are developing a model artist village on some 800 acres in Maabang in the Ahafo Ano North District of the Ashanti Region of Ghana for replication in other parts of Africa. For the locals, it will mean a resolution to the age-old problem for people of artistry- painters, sculptors, actors, dancers, musicians, designers, and others who require low-cost and expanse of space in which to live and work; and for persons in the arts from around the world, it will be a contact point for artist-in-residence for community-based arts projects, cross-cultural conferences and environmental retreats.  Thus, we will next add studios, and a multipurpose complex for conferences and community-based arts mission to these residential cottages, as would be road construction to link parts of the village.

We are equally open to some alternative Housing Development Models that work. One example is the condominium program by which International NGOs with similar goals as ours, can design-and-build their structure at own costs and pay development due of €100 per room/per year, as the grounds are owned by FOTA Foundation. If the local artist/ architect group footed all cost, the group would need to pay development due of 50 GH¢ per room/per year, as the grounds belong to our Foundation. However, we are strict that the completed structure be used solely for the purpose proposed.

Location

Maabang is a rural community in the Ahafo-Ano North District in the north-western part  of Ashanti Region. The area is located between latitude 6˚ 47’N and 7 02’N and longitude 2˚ 26’W and 2˚ 04’W. The District Hospital at Tepa is the major health facility  around the Maabang Traditional Area; there are four smaller health service stations. Like  much of Ghana, few of the roads are tarred. The project acreage is along the main road, Tepa-Goaso Road. About 85% of the working population entails farmers in cassava, yam, maize, and plantain but chiefly in cocoa. There, in the town, is a cocoa research center. Timber is one of the many traditional commodities, as the region is mostly of tropical rainforest. Maabang is in the deciduous savannah transition zone. The mean monthly temperature ranges from 26° (in August) to 30° (in March). Relative humidity is generally high, ranging between 75-80 percent in the Rainy season and 70-72 percent in the dry season. The mean annual rainfall is between 125 cm and 180cm. Nationwide, there are two main seasons, the raining season and dry season. The raining season is from approximately April to October followed by the dry season, which starts in December with the Hamattan wind blowing from the Saharan Desert and ends in March.

Arrival

Board flight from a major international airport to Kokota International Airport (ACC), and then to Sunyani Airport; Maabang is 45 minutes drive from Sunyani.

DEADLINE: Ongoing but apply at least two months in advance

TO APPLY: Candidates should send the following materials to africoae@gmail.com

  1. Formal Proposal (includes budget and work plan)
  2. Bio/resume
  3. Other relevant materials (includes work sample or web site)

For additional information go to: http://afropoets.tripod.com/eta and www.focusonthearts.org