We worked with Bruce Nizeye, a brilliant engineer,
and he thought about construction differently than I had been taught in school.
When we had to excavate this enormous hilltop and a bulldozer was expensive and hard to get to site,
Bruce suggested doing it by hand, using a method in Rwanda called "Ubudehe," which means "community works for the community."
Hundreds of people came with shovels and hoes,
and we excavated that hill in half the time and half the cost of that bulldozer.
Instead of importing furniture, Bruce started a guild, and he brought in master carpenters to train others in how to make furniture by hand.
And on this job site, 15 years after the Rwandan genocide,
Bruce insisted that we bring on labor from all backgrounds, and that half of them be women.
Bruce was using the process of building to heal, not just for those who were sick, but for the entire community as a whole.
We call this the locally fabricated way of building, or "lo-fab," and it has four pillars:
hire locally, source regionally, train where you can and most importantly,
think about every design decision as an opportunity to invest in the dignity of the places where you serve.
Think of it like the local food movement, but for architecture.
And we're convinced that this way of building can be replicated across the world,
and change the way we talk about and evaluate architecture.