Modern Education and Training Institute, handmade school
2005 Rudrapur, Bangladesh Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag
One of the most reported aspects of the Handmade school which is discussed in a plethora of journals and blogs is how 25 day labourers from the local area were trained through the construction process. It is very interesting looking at a project in terms of empowerment though participation, and how the very processes of the building construction can educate and involve the community- an approach I have been noticing more and more as I explore small architecture. By designing in such a way that avoided specialist tools and materials, the whole construction process was refined so that only the foundations needed a trained building company, which again was local.
Labourers were often also parents of the school kids, so the kids would actually help with the construction too, and so a real sense of ownership and responsibility was fostered throughout the four months it took to build, as the whole community pitched in and played their part.
By integrating and engaging with the community Heringer sought to articulate the human right to Participation in the creation of the school, which fundamentally became a community project. The value added through this participation I think is palpable when you see photographs of the building in use. The way it is inhabited by the children, with the bangla messages chalked onto the coloured doors, and the cozy intimate earth caves, gives a sense of immediate ownership that could only come about through the participation of the children and their experience of the construction of the building. By implementing this attitude into the process of the build, Heringer has succeeded in creating a school which, although was brand new, was already an integral and rooted part of the village.
Architecktur.Aktuel October 2006 Edition: Resistance, 2006
The Daily Star (Bangladeshi Newspaper) Weekend supplement-Volume 7 Issue 24, June 13th 2008
The Daily Star (Bangladeshi Newspaper) May 11th 2007
Deuches Architektur Jahrbuch (German Architecture Annual) 2007/08, DAM Deuches Architektur Museum, Prestel, 2008
Small scale big change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, Andres Lapik, MoMA, 2010