Article 25 Student Charette: Papua New Guinea

Article 25’s Annual Summer Charette  once again managed to achieve considerable creative thinking within the smallest window of opportunity.

During the week from 16-20th of July six participants were tasked to investigate and develop proposals for a primary school in Kondipi village, in the remote Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.  Article 25 undertook a scoping and community involvement mission to the village in 2010 and now hoped to get one step closer to achieving the necessary funding.

The community itself, has been working tirelessly for better educational facilities for decades, going so far as to build a road to the village (to ease deliveries of building materials), running a power connection from the local supply, and building a guest house for the feasibility team to facilitate the project.

The team reviewed the considerable information previously gathered, from which they developed a set of recommendations addressing issues of day-lighting vs. glare, cool mornings vs. hot afternoons, building on swampy land vs. building on open community land, and developing vernacular building technologies vs. importing prefabricated ‘western’ building solutions.

A highlight for the team was the presentation of the project to the Deputy High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea at his London Embassy for a lively discussion of the past and future of the countries education system – with special reference to the potential strategies being employed by politicians to change their current educational practices in the future.

The results of the Charette will be used to share the direction of future developments with potential funders for the project.