A new exhibition just launched in Glasgow, ‘EMPOWERMENT’, discusses design and build changing lives and empowering people.

The exhibition, supported by The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, explores the potential of the process of building to affect social change in the developing world and demonstrates the impact that design has on individuals and communities.

Bailie Liz Cameron and Humza Yousaf worked together at the launch of the exhibition to begin the process of filling earth bags, something visitors to the exhibition will also be able to participate in. Earth bags are a quick, effective and resource-efficient way of building in developing countries.

Mr. Mitchell, founding director of Orkidstudio, said: “The exhibition aims to tell the story of the people, the individuals and communities that are affected by the building projects, not just during the build but afterwards.

“We wanted to explore the positive impact that design and construction can have on long term development and to understand how this can be evaluated and how architecture can create opportunity for sustainable economic and cultural growth.”

Orkidstudio’s projects serve those in some of the world’s most populous countries, where architectural input is absent. It considers architecture as a process, not a product – a process which empowers and enables people and their communities.

This particular type of practical empowerment gets tangible results. For example, during the recently completed Nakuru Project in Kenya, local women worked alongside their male counterparts for an equal wage. Many of the team, both male and female, have since been approached for work on other sites as a direct result of their involvement in the Orkidstudio project.

A project to build a girl’s school in Sierra Leone had to stop in May due to the ebola epidemic. The school will eventually serve up to 120 girls in Kenema. Stories from the project are part of the exhibition, including the impact of ebola.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “This exhibition is a powerful reminder that architecture plays a different role for people in different countries at various stages of their economic development.  The erecting of local schools, hospitals and many other types of buildings can be a key symbol for social change and the empowerment of local people in many parts of the world, and hope many people will visit to see the impact of the project.”

Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf said: “Orkidstudio’s humanitarian projects demonstrate the potential of architecture to affect social change in developing countries.

“Scottish talent is contributing to the empowerment of people and their communities across the globe.  This exhibition is a great example of the way in which design and architecture can help to make a real difference to people’s lives and help to shape a fairer world.”

The exhibition is open to the public, Friday, 28 November – Sunday, 1 March 2015, in Gallery 1 of The Lighthouse.


Media enquiries:

Laura Sutherland, Aura PR

T: 0141 337 6712 / 07764 936 840 E: laura@aura-pr.com Tw: @laurafromaura or Caroline Armour E: caroline@aura-pr.com


Notes to editors:

  • Interviews available on request
  • For further information about The Lighthouse visit www.thelighthouse.co.uk
  • The Lighthouse is also on Twitter @The_Lighthouse and on facebook.com/lighthouseglasgow
  • Founded in 2008, Orkidstudio is a humanitarian design organisation whose focus is to benefit children and communities through innovative design and construction. More information via http://orkidstudio.co.uk/