Shebraber School / EthiopiaStudio2.0

morning assembly

Shebraber School is a collaborative project designed by , a second-generation team of eleven Arizona State University M.Arch graduate students, led by practicing local architect Jack DeBartolo 3. This fall, students had the unique opportunity to travel to a remote village community 120 miles southwest of Addis Ababa, the capital city of , Africa, to research, develop, and design new classrooms and administration buildings for a school serving children within a 10km radius, many of whom walk hours for the chance to attend. More images and project description after the break.

classroom interior

The new buildings will support the local administration to meet the educational needs of the community, providing an opportunity for the children of Shebraber to open for themselves all the doors of future potential. This renovation/addition will increase the number and quality of classrooms, provide spaces for a library and computer center, and will bring hope for the future by changing the cycle of poverty through education.

exterior pastoral elevation

The narrative of this project began with a coffee bean farmer who had only enough money to send 1 of his 15 children to school. Unbelievably, that child not only went to primary school, but completed university in Addis Ababa, and advanced into a wonderful career that now allows him to return to his community and rebuild the school of his upbringing. In cooperation with Mesganu Arga, and through the selfless help of Arizona natives Keri & Brian DeGuzman, EthiopiaStudio2.0 will develop the master plan, landscape, and architectural design and construction documents to build these desperately needed facilities.

exterior plaza elevation

The project will be built with local materials in a manner that honors the indigenous culture of the Gurage region of Ethiopia while optimizing durable, sustainable, and passive learning environments for the children. Ethiopian builders and artisans will perform construction and the facilities will be staffed by Ethiopian teachers, beginning the process of alleviating poverty and changing cultural attitudes towards women. “Teaching a girl is teaching a society, while teaching a boy is teaching an individual.”

campus gate entrance

“If architecture is going to nudge, cajole, and inspire a community to challenge the status quo into making responsible changes, it will take the subversive leadership of academics and practitioners who keep reminding students of the profession’s responsibilities.” –Samuel Mockbee

EthiopiaStudio2.0 Team: Patrick Bailey, Sergio Carrasco, Jeffrey Clancy, Johanna Collins, Jennifer Del Rio, Lauren Loosveldt, Ernesto Lopez, Jennifer Pankratz, Yan Ren, Sylvia Vargas, and Matthew Wilson, led by architect Jack DeBartolo 3 AIA

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Shebraber School / EthiopiaStudio2.0" 07 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Chavo

    This is a fantastic student project. I am proud to see that Arizona State University has continued their Ethiopia program, under the guidance of Jack DeBartolo III. In an age where architecture education has become so disengaged from reality, we must applaud programs that not only focus on the real issues that our profession deals with, but also takes on a role of giving back to our community and our world. Unlike the professional world, where shrinking profits and economic uncertainty force firms to be as efficient as possible, academia is the perfect place for architecture to take on the pro-bono jobs. I hope to see more schools offering studios which allow students to design real world projects, locally and throughout the world. Congratulations ES 2.0, keep up the good work, and build upon this experience to shape your careers.