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Orkidstudio win Curry Stone Design Prize

3 August 2017

Orkidstudio win Curry Stone Design Prize

Orkidstudio, founded by Welsh School of Architecture alumnus James Mitchell, is named one of the winners of this year’s Curry Stone Design Prize.

The Curry Stone Design Prize is awarded each year to honour innovative projects that use design to address pressing social justice issues. Supported by the Curry Stone Foundation, the Prize highlights and rewards projects that improve daily living conditions of people in communities around the world. The Prize is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017. As well as naming the Design Prize winners, they have assembled The Social Design Circle, a group of 100 of the most compelling social design practitioners of the last decade, which includes Orkidstudio.

Orkidstudio was developed as a design/build non­profit active throughout Africa, focusing on long­term sustainable development through community-­based design and construction. They deliberately avoid conventional methods of distributing aid, instead beginning with an examination of local context, materials, resources and skills. Orkidstudio also strongly advocates the design/build process as a means of economic development. The choices of what you design and how you build can have a dramatic effect on local jobs, local earnings, and micro­-economies. The studio therefore looks to designs which promote the highest possible economic development.

Orkidstudio is currently completing a large hospital in Zambia, near the border of the DRC and Angola. The extreme remoteness leaves the surrounding area in desperate need of regional health facilities. The hospital is expected to serve 30,000 people when completed. Orkidstudio is currently also working with the charity Mothers of Africa (led by Professor Judith Hall of the School of Medicine) to rebuild a school in Shiyala, Zambia with funding from Cardiff University’s Global Opportunities Centre and the Welsh School of Architecture. Students from the Welsh School of Architecture and across the University are spending their summer helping villagers with the construction of the school, as well as houses for teachers, a borehole and toilets. On completion of this 300-place community school in September, the District Education Board have agreed to supply qualified teachers to ensure that the children of the village will have access to sustainable, meaningful education.

To find out more about their ongoing projects, please visit the Orkidstudio website.

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