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Good Works: A Design-Build Firm Builds and Empowers in Haiti

RH Secondary School. All photos courtesy of Kenbe Design Build via <a href="">Designboom</a>
RH Secondary School. All photos courtesy of Kenbe Design Build via Designboom

Design-build firms like New York's SHoP, the Boston and Kigali, Rwanda-based MASS Design Group, and Brooklyn's Situ Studio will tell you they're the wave of the future (or wordlessly convince you with sensitively scaled and inventively designed projects). More and more they seem right. In Haiti, design-build firm Kenbe—like MASS and other studios that focus on finding architectural solutions for infrastructural deficiencies in underserved countries—is following suit.

With a host of projects under its belt in the island nation, Kenbe is not just working to develop needed schools, medical clinics, and more in Haiti, but is also proving that design solutions have to closely consider the needs of local communities, employ local builders and craftspeople, and, ultimately, empower local citizens to construct sustainably on their own.

Founded in 2011, the firm's name comes form the Haitian Creole verb kenbe or "to keep, contend, hold, or to endure" according to the studio's website. Below, a collection of recent projects, via Designboom. Head over there for a full gallery. And follow the firm on Instagram at @kenbe_designbuild.

Community Education & Empowerment Brings Positive Changes in Haiti [Designboom]
Congo School Construction a Learning Process with Locally Sourced Materials [Curbed]