Nyumba Kwa Chakula
In collaboration with Seb Maher, Lydia Hamer, Stephen Yiavasis, Luqman Makame, and volunteers

Shift Design

Shift Design formed for the purpose of designing and constructing an investigative earth building in the Kilimanjaro region. The project provides the opportunity to apply and develop Shift’s education from Victoria University within the context of a worthwhile issue; disseminate earthquake-resistant design and construction information within developing countries; and demonstrate that earth building can be a viable construction method, even in seismically prone locations.

The Challenge

Tanzania, like other East African nations, is facing a steady increase of imported and highly processed building materials which are costly, ecologically harmful and unsuited to Tanzania’s climate. Unfortunately these materials are quickly replacing traditional, earth-based construction methods. This puts pressure on the local culture and threatens to erase the established vernacular.

This is why we are focusing our efforts to reinstate earth architecture and to shift the perception back to earth as a reliable, sustainable and attractive building material.

Earth construction has a role to play in leading wider, international advancement - especially in seismically active areas. In populated earthquake prone regions such as the Middle East and parts of South America, vast portions of the population live in low-cost earth housing. For these people, stronger, smarter and safer earth construction techniques are of vital importance. We are compelled to spread the knowledge of seismically safe design as we too come from one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world.

Our Solution

Our solution involves the production of a building that is a well-functioning community building for the people of Kasirwa. It will act as a prototype which combines traditional materials and techniques with modern aesthetics and technologies.

We will be architecturally reinvigorating earth construction and contributing to the body of knowledge surrounding intelligent construction - through the earth building workshop.

The knowledge and wisdom that is shared between ourselves, local craftspeople and international volunteers will contribute to the advancement of the village long after the project is completed.

Thank you to all our contributors!

Magereza Primary School
Magereza Community
Excel Education Foundation
Sara Mponzi
Mama Fatuma

Sara Monaco


Friends and Family

Tyler Harlen 2019