‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.
World Commission on Environment and Development’s 1987 Brundtland report ´Our Common Future`
For us, architecture is a tool, not a goal in itself, and we use it to make functional, landscape and climate adjusted buildings that are user-friendly and show examples of architectural development within its local context.
We also aim to show how local building techniques, traditions and local materials can be used in new manners, but mainly with a goal to make better light and climate adapted buildings, strengthen constructions, limit the use of non-environmental materials and increase functionalities for all.
Our projects are only implemented after years of research and trust building with the villages where they are built. That gives us a position where knowledge exchange is valued and the process leading towards a building is respected from all parties and act as a base for knowledge exchange. For us, that is important.
A lack of buildings is not the main issue for poor education in this area. All you need is a teacher and the shadow of a tree. It is of course an advantage to have a building, but “everyone” can make a timber/bamboo structure based on what’s in the village.
The challenge is villagers time and recourses, and it needs to be a common interest in the village to lift the schools standing and keep it going. It is not to be taken for granted that parents send their children to school even if there is one present, but if they feel ownership to it, the chance is often bigger they keep it running.
Here our projects can contribute and through the process leading towards it and during construction phase, we can involve villagers, contribute to further develop the schools standing in its area, and add additional knowledge and teacher training to increase the chance for more students to go to school over time.
The process leading towards a building and the implementation period itself is therefor just as important as the building itself.
Volunteers or volunteerism is not part of our work and just like a Burmese architect would not be very helpful in an office in Oslo for a few weeks, an architect from the outside would not be very helpful here. It is not about making architecture for the sake of architecture, but to make sustainable architecture in a social, environmental and local economic manner as a tool for local development.