AR 16.02

Old Habits, New Ideas


An old widow, her daughter Kesia (40) who has epilepsy, her son (35) and his wife and their eight children and two children from extended family live on a rather small compound in a Maasai village close to Arusha. On the compound there are three small, old mud huts, one wherein the widow sleeps with two children and a baby cow, one wherein Kesia sleeps and one used as a store.



The family’s living condition was mainly defined by a lack of privacy. The design therefore focuses on the notion of living-together-apart. In addition, the proposed technique of building with earthbags offers an alternative to the unsustainable fired bricks commonly used in the area - the clearance of trees is namely essential for its manufacturing process.

Building with earthbags lends itself perfectly to the design of circular units as no lateral support is required. The concept of three intertwining circles is then translated into two housing units - one for the mother and one for the daughter – and a common area in between. The labour intensive building method of earthbags wouldn’t have been an option if it wasn’t for the helping hands of 15 students and 4 teachers of VTI Brugge. This close collaboration between future craftsmen and architects of C-re-a.i.d. turned design into reality in no time.

Maji Moto, Arusha

Planning - Construction Techniques

3 weeks

October 2016

VTI Brugge, Msafiri Mollel


On 19th October,  15 students and 4 teachers travelled from Bruges to Moshi to build an innovative  earthbag house in a Maasai village.

Learn more of this group trough their personal website.

Watch the time lapse of this project!