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Design a village; Change a life
Aldea El Eden, Matagalpa, Nicaragua 2006

The Nicaragua Studio is a unique, service-learning program engaging students from various backgrounds directly in the design of a new community in rural Nicaragua. The Global Studio and the University of Texas’ BaSiC Initiative are partnering with Agros International, a nonprofit community development organization involved in the creation of sustainable communities for indigenous farmers throughout Central America.

The studio is a collaborative program bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and cultures to promote global understanding while addressing basic human needs. Students will join Agros working alongside formerly landless families to formulate their new village masterplan on the site of a former coffee plantation in the lush mountains of central Nicaragua. The studio will explore village designs for one particular village in Nicaragua that will stimulate its sense of community and foster better social interaction. Students will also investigate the use of locally available and sustainable building materials through the construction of a small-scale, community-focused intervention.

The studio provides the benefits of quality design to communities through inspired design and built form while training future architects and engineers in the methods of community visioning, organizing and leadership. This studio model offers a more holistic exposure to the practice of architecture and construction than typically found in contemporary education, and demonstrates the potential for architecture and design to be used as an effective vehicle for community service.

The 2007 Nicaragua Studio will take place during the weeks of June 11 to July 23. Enrollment is open to both undergraduate and graduate-level students with backgrounds in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, engineering, construction management, agriculture and forestry.

 For more information please contact or visit The Global Studio.