40 618 SCS: Eco Moyo Education Centre


To be enthusiastic and hardworking. To have completed three years architectural studies. Not to have done a Scarcity and Creativity Studio before. To be able to travel to Kenya for five weeks. There will be an elective course on tropical architecture that is mandatory for this studio.

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

Architectural design skills are most important. Building experience, in either large objects or buildings, is welcomed. Skills in Rhino will come in handy.

Course content

The SCS studio will engage in two projects during the semester, Eco Moyo in Kenya and SALT in Oslo.

1. Eco Moyo project, Kenya
Eco Moyo is an educational Community Based Organisation located in the town Mtwapa in Kilifi county, Kenya, providing free Montessori based education to children from poor families. Currently Eco Moyo provide education and care for around 20 children in temporary accommodation.

Eco Moyo have recently bought a 5 hectares site half an hour drive from Kilifi town center in an area called Ezamoyo. Currently this site has a house, and Eco Moyo is building the infrastructure necessary to make it usable as an education centre. At the start of 2017 they plan to build living accommodation for 20 pupils and the teaching staff so that they can move operations to the new site.

The development plan for Eco Moyo Education Centre consists of two parts:

Eco Moyo Primary School. Modelled on Green School Principals and the Montessori Education Method, emphasis is on practical approaches to each subject together with ethics, ecology, training in individual thinking and communication skills.

Eco Moyo Farm. The farm will be based on Permaculture Principals for the cultivation of food crops, timber and animal husbandry. The goal is to meet the consumption needs of students and staff, while functioning as a demonstration site for locals and visitors. Eco Moyo have asked The Scarcity and Creativity Studio, AHO to design and build three classrooms on their new site.

For more details of the Eco Moyo Education Centre see http://www.ecomoyo.com and https://vimeo.com/168526235

The project is to design and build three classrooms for the new school.

2. SALT Culture Centre, Oslo.

SALT is a nomadic initiative celebrating the environment, art and culture of the Arctic region. SALT’s mission is environmental. For thousands of years, people in the Artic have followed the rhythm of animals' movement and seasonal migration. The footprints they have left behind are minimal. SALT illustrates and celebrates the care and respect of this movement through the Arctic landscape including the ocean.

The triangular-shaped fish-drying racks that for centuries have been a hallmark of the northern coast are a monument to this culture. Dried cod was a very sought after commodity whose trade brought great wealth and connected the north of Norway to the world.

The sea has provided the resources that Norway was built on, and that future generations can live on. SALT aims to raise awareness of the ocean's wealth and at the same time of the challenges it faces from climate change and polution.

The Project.
SALT is a nomadic initiative celebrating the environment, art and culture of the Arctic region. SALT was first constructed as an art- and cultural project at Langsanden in the municipality of Gildeskål in 2014.

The second destination of the SALT project is the Festningsplassen (Oslo) where four of the triangular-shaped fish-drying racks are being erected and will be used for diverse public activities, amongst them a large sauna, an interior with a large open fire, a bar, etc.

The Scarcity and Creativity project is to design and build the public spaces between and around the triangular-shaped fish-drying racks.

Learning outcomes

On completing the course, the student will have acquired the following knowledge, skills, and competences:
• will know about, and develop skills and competences related to designing for the needs of a foreign local educational community, and a Norwegian context.
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about detailing and specifications of small educational building, built in local materials, and urban space fitting out in Oslo
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about local building regulations and building practices in both settings.
• will understand the climatic requirements of tropical buildings, and building for a northern European climate.
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about building costs and budget management during construction in two settings.
• will have acquired the skill for using manual and mechanical tools for building
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about designing and building in conditions of scarcity and for tropical climatic conditions, and those of a northern European climate.

Working and learning activities

The development of the work during the semester will follow a pre-determined path which has been thought out in order to provide the pace and logistics which the studio needs to follow to fulfil its aims.
We will work as if we were one architectural studio fulfilling two commissions, some of the work will be individual, mostly architectural design, but most of the work will be done in groups. Everyone is expected to contribute to this joint effort performing those tasks that are for the benefit of the studio as a whole. Except for the start of the semester the studio will focus on joint production rather than individual expression. In the end the chosen projects which will be built will be the product of all of the members of the studio, regardless of the individual roles each may have played. This set-up very much reflects the way in which contemporary architecture is produced.

Work effort:
This is a full time studio, with two projects, and an elective course that supplements it. It relies both in individual and group effort. The studio compresses two rather complex design and build projects into one semester. This requires full-time participation of every individual in the course. Absences during the semester that are not justified by medical certificates or equivalent will not be tolerated. This is not a studio for those that are not fully committed or have responsibilities outside AHO which may get in the way of a full commitment.

The studio work will develop in the following way:
Step one: Each student will develop individual proposals for both projects.
Review one: review of the individual projects and choice of projects which continue. Individual contributions must meet minimum design development standards that one would expect for an AHO graduate student.
Step two: Students will form teams of two or three. The composition of the teams will be based on similar/compatible/complementary characteristics of the individual projects delivered in Step One. Each of these teams will develop designs initiated by others
Review 2: Review of the team projects and choice of projects which continue.
Step three: Students will form teams of four or five. The composition of the teams will be based on similar/compatible/complementary characteristics of the individual projects delivered in Step two. Each of these teams will develop one joint design initiated by others.
Review 3: Review of the team projects and choice of the project which continues.
Step four: The Studio will choose the two projects to build for which it will develop a complete set of architectural drawings, a detailed list of all materials required for the construction, assembly instructions, structural calculations, and costs.
Review 4: Review of the mock-ups, lists of materials, cutting schedules, assemblies, and construction phasing with a view to discussing construction difficulties which may arise during the construction period.
Step Five: Construction, period of four or five weeks will be spent in Kenya, and four weeks building in Oslo. Students will have to pay for all travel to and from the site and for food and lodging while there. Students must also take out insurance that covers them while abroad. Norwegian students will normally get a grant from Lånekassen which is likely to cover travel and lodgings.
Step six: Preparing the work for the AHO WORKS exhibition.
Final Review: Final examination/review to assess the work of the semester will occur during the last week of the semester. The exact date will be determined further on, but please do not plan to leave Oslo prior to the last day of the semester.

In very general terms the semester will be organised in the following way,
January to end of March, design, detail, and cost the two projects.
April, build the Eco Moyo project in Kenya.
May, build the SALT project in Oslo
Early June, prepare the AHO WORKS exhibition and the final exam.

The studio will be based mainly on one-to-one and group dialog of student work supplemented by discussions, workshops, and lectures.
Students who join this studio will have to also enrol in the Tropical Architecture Course because its contents and scheduling are linked to the studio program development.
It is a requirement of the course that students spend the time needed to construct the building in Kenya. Although it is difficult at this stage to determine the length of the period of construction our estimation is four to five weeks. Insurance which covers each student during the time abroad is required and will be the responsibility of each student. EHS safety rules regarding students at construction sites will apply during the period in Kenya and Oslo.

Professor in charge

Christian Hermansen, with Solveig Sandness and Joseph Kennedy.

Additional information

International students are encouraged to apply for the course, as the aim is to have a 50/50 representation of Norwegian and international students in the course

Mandatory work requirements

Work requirements Number Number of approved Mandatory presence Comment

The minimum attendance to the studio activities is 80% of organised events.


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Vurderingsmappe Individual Pass / Fail

The assessment will be on the basis of submissions, performance and participation in the studio.

Students will be asked for specific submissions during the semester. These submissions are part of the development of the project in Kenya and Oslo. As much of the work is done in groups, participation is of the utmost importance.

The final assessment will be made by the sensor and will be based on:
1. The individual submission for stage one of the projects.
2. The level of participation and contribution to the collective work.
3. The assessment of the work achieved by the studio as a whole.

To approve the studio students need to get a PASS mark in each of these three requirements.

The minimum attendance to the studio activities is 80% of organised events.

The final decision as to the performance of each student will be taken by the external examiner (sensor) on the basis of group performance, the report on individual participation done by the teachers, and a portfolio showing the extent of individual and collective contributions to the studio. The assessment of participation and contribution of each student to the studio will count for 60% of the final mark while the submission of the group and individual work will count for 40%.