The Konbit Shelter Project is composed of a small group of artists and builders whose hearts, hands and minds are reaching out to the Haitian communities devastated by the earthquake. (click for information on inaugural Williamsburg Waterfront Sculpture Exhibition at East River State Park).
As the process of rebuilding begins, our goal is to take part in a sustainable and easily replicable building project to the benefit the earthquake affected community. The Konbit Houses Project will bring the Superadobe building technique designed by Nader Kalili, along with permaculture influence, and our creativity as artists, to join forces in Haiti with local builders, farmers, and community organizers. We will build a small neighborhood ring of structures, each capable of housing 4-5 people, and serving the needs of the community, as schools, clinics and/or community meeting spaces.
We believe that the Superadobe dome construction technique to be an appropriate rebuilding tool for Haiti, which uses very little timber or other building materials. The technique is based on using ninety percent earth, stabilized by a small amount of concrete, and barbed wire. It is a method, which can cheaply, easily, and quickly create structures that are hurricane and earthquake resistant and permanent. By joining with a community to create a series of these shelters, we can create something of value to that specific community, and also be a part of the process of sharing knowledge, which can potentially be beneficial to people in other parts of Haiti.
We are currently raising money for building supplies, shipping, and stateside logistics, as well as working wages for the local Haitian team who participates in the construction of the structures. We hope to be shipping out and building in Summer 2010.
The definition of konbit in Creole is a traditional form of cooperative communal labor in Haiti, whereby the able-bodied folk of a locality help each other prepare their fields. It is a time for solidarity and cooperation in the face of adversity. The Konbit Houses Project is referencing the word with a global interpretation, people coming together to work cooperatively across national boundaries.
- Swoon/caledonia curry (artist): http://swimmingcities.org
- Ben Wolf (artist): www.ben-wolf.com
- Sarah Walko (director/producer): www.sarahwalko.com
- Samuel Yellen (co-director/translator)
- Ethan Cote (structural engineer)
- Olivia Katz (Haiti community co-organizer)
- Thaddeus Pawlowski (urban designer/architect)
- Paid residents of the community