Thursday, February 12, 2009


Sand Castles in South Africa

Every year, Cape Town’s Design Indaba conference draws together high-profile architects from around the world to muse about the power of contemporary design. In 2007, Indaba’s organizers decided to use that concentrated creative energy to address a problem in their own backyard: the thousands of impoverished people living in makeshift shacks in South Africa’s townships. Looking to create low-cost houses that could serve as models for the future, they launched the 10×10 Housing Project, which paired 10 leading international architects with 10 local architects, and tasked each team with developing an appealing house that could be built for about $7,000.

Luyanda Mpahlwa, a partner in the firm MMA, and his team decided to build theirs with an unlikely but abundant source: sand. “African industry usually uses bricks and mortar, or clay brick, or concrete block, which is more expensive,” says Mpahlwa. “As architects and professionals, we should be leading the search for different ways of building. Not everyone can afford the normally available material.”

Read more in Daily Good

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