Inspired by the culture of the Konso people of Ethiopia.
What inspired you to enter this competition to create a modern architectural language for Africa?
For the past three years I was working on research called Ethioplugin Add-on Library at my campus (EiABC). There the objective, was digitalizing the heritages of Ethiopia such as furniture and fixtures, patterns and textures, construction details, so that they will be accessible by the professionals like interior designers, architects electronically. This made me familiar with working on cultural elements and extracting designed product out of them. I was excited (about the competition) because it was a great chance for me to experiment this experience on architectural level.
What did you find most interesting or challenging during the research and development of your prototype?
The interesting part of this project was the culture the KONSO people (clan) developed to adapt to the harsh climate and mountainous landscape. They construct masonry terraces and retaining walls and define the platform where they build the house (PAFTA) then continue building with wooden pillars.
The challenge was interpreting the process. It was a time consuming process transforming the original inspiration into the modern form.
Why do you believe African homeowners will be interested in building a home such as the one you have submitted today?
Two major reasons: The first one is since this typology is designed based on indigenous African culture and the layout is arranged in African way of life with modern life style requirements, it fits their lifestyle and provides maximum comfort. Secondly, a house is a place where a family is nurtured. This special house will be tangible inspiration to create a modern generation who is proud of his/her identity because it is articulated with indigenous African building materials.
Debre, Gebrekidan G.
ATL: Vol. 1:
1, Article 19.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/atl/vol1/iss1/19