Gyaw Gyaw is a small non-profit organization located in the ethnic Karen areas on the border between Thailand and Burma. Our name means ‘slowly’ in Karen language and reflects our philosophy of a slow and sustainable process that aligns with the society and environment around us.

We have been working continuously together since 2009 and with place-based and regenerative architecture as a tool and a strong focus on educational and common buildings, our aim has been to lift the role of education and strengthen local communities in our own neighborhood.

Due to political and personal circumstances, 2025 will mark a shift away from new construction activities, but we will continue to implement smaller cooperations and perform consulting activities in our home area regarding maintenance, repair and most of all: reflection on our practice.

Our projects will live on. And so does the knowledge and experience that we have built together with, and for our communities.

We are currently in the process of documenting 15 years of collective effort and our body of work. We do this not only to reflect on our learnings but also to explore the long-term effects of our collaboration with the communities where we have been welcomed.

And we would like to share these observations with a larger audience! We are sure this knowledge and experiences is also relevant for other parts of the world, and we are proud and excited to be able to share it.

Gyaw Gyaw - children running in front of school


Gyaw Gyaw designs and builds functional and climate-adjusted buildings and infrastructure, rooted in traditional building techniques and based on locally available and renewable materials.

Gyaw Gyaw: School Kler-Deh. Photo by Franc Pallares Lopez


We work slowly, steadily and on a small scale. We adapt our projects to the social, cultural, ecological and economic frameworks that apply to the neighborhoods where we work.


Since 2009, we have built respectful and long-lasting relationships with a wide range of stakeholders in our area and collaborated closely with the schools and villagers that we build for and with.


The connection and interaction between these three dimensions determine the outcome of our projects.