Entries are now open to the Mud House Design Competition run by the Nka Foundation, an organisation that focuses on human capital development through the use of the arts. The design competition is open to students and recent graduates and challenges entrants to conceptualise a 30ft x 40ft single-family dwelling on a 60ft x 60ft plot in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Entries must be submitted by 31 August 2014; see here for details of how to apply.
The brief is as follows: In Ghana, as in other countries in West Africa, stereotypes about buildings made of earth persist because of poor construction. From the cities to the low-income villages, use of concrete - despite its dependence on imported resources - is considered indispensable for building. Yet an excellent, cheap and local alternative called laterite, red earth, is available everywhere in Ghana. The long-term goal is to enable the Ghanaian population and lots of other places, to overcome the stigma that mud architecture is architecture for the very poor.