Prototypes for local development
Ethiopia is going through a period of fast economic growth and intense urbanization. Its capital, Addis Ababa, has shown an increase in population of around 6% per year in the last twenty years alone and is expected to triple its approximately 4 million inhabitants in the next 30 years.
Already, a vast majority dwells in self-made sheds in informal settlements in the ubiquitous ‘unplanned’ regions of the city. According to UN-Habitat, 80% of the existing dwellings in Addis are in ‘sub-standard, slum like’ conditions.
Providing basic hygiene and better housing for these millions of people is a challenge to the Ethiopian government. In a 2004 government initiative called the Grand Housing Program, an impressive 100.000 new condominiums were erected within 7 years time.
While new, large-scale housing areas are continuously developed, critics claim the housing models used for mass-reproduction fail to acknowledge the typical Ethiopian needs. Disregarding local cultural and technical traditions, these projects are said to disrupt communities of local trade, craftmanship and micro-economy – for many the only way to earn a living – while importing foreign models and construction techniques introduces financial and cultural dependancies in a proudly independant nation.
The aim of the Global Housing Studio Addis Additions is to research and design models and prototypes of dwellings that answer the direct need of mass-housing but at the same time take into account local cultural and technical conditions. Students in the Global Housing Studio will engage in an intensive, 8-week design course, which kicks off with a week on site workshop at the EiABC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Addis Additions Studio is organised in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building construction and City development (EiABC) at Addis Ababa Uiversity.