Root Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio originating in Oaxaca City, Mexico which develops community level structures and housing for communities in need. Although based in Mexico, the studio also has offices in Uruguay and has done projects as far away as Nepal. Root Studio works in painting, illustration, sculpture and architecture. They are here nominated for their efforts working with dispossessed and disaffected communities. Their work evinces certain themes:
They emphasize community participation and the engagement of locals throughout the design process. In most cases, their work is done by request, after a community solicits help in the design and building of a structure.
They also seek to blend traditional building techniques & materials with the possibilities of modern technology. They have no predefined ‘style’ – they prefer to draw necessary resources out of a project’s context. In most cases, that favors ‘natural’ materials like adobe, stone, bamboo and tile. They are noted for their processes as well, utilizing local craftsmen to make the numerous tiles and bricks that go into their projects. The completed project, therefore, is an amalgam of the labor, culture and interests of the community it serves.
Continuing with this ethos, Root projects also typically favor ‘natural’ building systems, such as rainwater collection, passive ventilation, etc.
The ambition in this method is that the materials and strategies for building become something replicable. By emphasizing the natural and the local, you create a localized knowledge that the community can then redeploy on future projects. For more information, check out the links below. And for regular updates, check out their Facebook page.