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1K House & Sustainable Development

Affordable housing is a challenge faced by all countries and societies globally. This challenge is especially prevalent in a developing country such as Kenya where the alternative to home ownership is high rent and unfavourable and unreliable rental agreements. At Orkidstudio we look to implement social change through construction. Our 1k house ...

Linden Church Vision Workshop

At Orkidstudio we’re in the first stages of working with Linden Church in Swansea to redevelop their existing church building. Linden have been great friends and supporters of our work over the years, as they are closely involved with the Mutende project which we built for in Zambia, 2013. Knowing our work and community focus, the church a...

Bomnong L’Or Project: Community Feedback

We strongly believe that the process of building as a tool for empowering communities is as important as the finished project. This is not limited to the construction phase of the project, and at Orkidstudio we strive to involve the people that we are designing for throughout the design period.

It is five weeks until we start building the Bomno...

Empowering women through construction

At Orkidstudio we believe that the process of building can be used as a tool for affecting social change. Among our five key aims is ‘equality’, providing fair opportunity through the process of construction. We do this not only by employing local unskilled workers on our sites and offering training both in trade and management, but ...

Bomnong L’or Project Volunteer Perspective

I was lucky enough to be selected as part of the Orkidstudio team, who will be travelling to Cambodia to construct new facilities for the Goodwill Centre in Sihanoukville and have so far found the experience to be very exciting.

The project is inspiring in many ways, as not only will it benefit the lives of the many children and their familie...

Hellen's House

Last year we launched a research project at the Mackintosh School of Architecture (MSA) called the £1k House with the simple aim of designing a house using earthbags at a very low cost. Our Nakuru Project, also built with earthbags, generated considerable interest and optimism in what this relatively new technology could offer, an optimism that ...

Build your own earthbag: illustrated booklets

One of the most memorable parts of our recent EMPOWERMENT exhibition at the lighthouse in Glasgow had to be the 5 tonnes of earth that was dumped in the middle of the floor. The section encouraged visitors to try their hand at making their own earth bag, and adding it to the demonstration earth wall, which grew during the duration of the exhibit...

EMPOWERMENT exhibition workshops

EMPOWERMENT exhibition visitors of all ages were invited to participate in the building of a collaborative cardboard city. Orkidstudio trustee, Grace ran drop in workshops over four weekends at The Lighthouse Glasgow. Each week explored a theme from the exhibition; Inspire, Equality, Enterprise and Educate and collaborators were asked to imagine...

Bomnong L’or Project: Designing for Climate

In all of our projects, we have a strong focus on designing for the local climate. By doing so, we aim to create buildings that utilise the natural and free resources available to create spaces that are comfortable and enjoyable to inhabit. For example, in the hot and humid climate of Sierra Leone, the orientation of the Swawou Project ensures a...

Designing for Cambodia

Last month, James and Tom visited Sihanoukville in Cambodia, the location of a project (Bomnong L'or) which will go on site in July and August this year. Situated on Cambodia's beautiful southwestern coast, the city is a vibrant mix of local Khmer community and foreign tourism. Tucked away from the beaches, we are working in an area just above t...