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StudioAFRICA: Fabricating Cross-Cultural Designs

StudioAFRICA: Fabricating Cross-Cultural Designs

Instructor: James Chaffers
Location: Ghana, West Africa
Dates Abroad: May 6 - May 27, 2013

A travel studio with a 10-Year history of tapping new/Old 'wells of wisdom' for designing sustainably; specifically, StudioAFRICA is designed to facilitate a broadened awareness of practical beauty in architectural tectonics, a deeper understandings of spirituality in the design process, and a deeper appreciation for the role of cross-cultural typologies within increasingly global pursuits of sustaining environments. In brief, all travel, all field studies, all design(ing) efforts within StudioAFRICA are pointed toward one end . . . helping each of us "find our own voice" within the seminal design challenge for our generation;
the challenge to live our lives, simpler—i.e., to 'live sustainably.'

Field studies in Ghana are organized in collaboration with faculty and students at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (Kumasi) and the University of Ghana (Accra). Collaborative activity centers around African vernacular, indigenous arts production, and urban/rural field research focusing on City planning and village development.

Spring '13, studies are sited in Kumasi and Bolgatanga (in the highlands of Central and Northern Ghana) and along the Atlantic Ocean shore within the sprawling Capital metropolis of Accra.

Approximately three weeks of travel and study is conducted in Ghana, with the remaining time focused on post-Ghana studio work in Ann Arbor.