Nka Foundation













(International art+architecture Design Competition)

The Main Jury

Architect, Department of Architecture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana

Professor George William Kofi Intsiful joined the Department of Architecture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST), Kumasi, as a Lecturer in October 1979 after his National Service in the Department from 1978 to 1979.  Prior to that, he had been a Demonstrator in the Department while doing his post-graduate studies.  He holds a Bachelor of Science (Design) degree , a Post Graduate Diploma in Architecture from the KNUST, a Master of Architecture degree in Housing from McGill University, Montreal, Canada and a Doctor of Architecture degree from The University of Michigan, An Arbor, USA.  He is now a Professor of Architecture at the KNUST.

He has considerable research, teaching and consultanting experience in: Architecture, Housing, Development, Tourism, and Facility development.  He has taught in many universities in Ghana, Liberia, Zimbabwe and the USA.  He has also been the Head of the Department of Architecture and the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Building Technology, KNUST, Kumasi.  His areas of research include: Housing, Architectural History and Criticism, Environment and Behaviour and Urban Design.   

He has served as a Consultant to the Christian Service University College, Kwadaso, Kumasi. KNUST and the University of Cape Coast. At the University of Cape Coast he designed. He supervised the construction of the offices, classrooms, auditorium and a hotel.  He has also designed a golf course as well as many residential buildings across Ghana.

He has published over ten papers in refereed journals in Ghana, the UK, USA and Switzerland and was a co-author of the 15-year National Tourism Development Plan for Ghana, a UNDP project for the Ministry of Tourism.  He also wrote the Chapter on Architecture in sub-Saharan Africa in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Popular Culture published by Greenwood Press in Westport, Connecticut, USA in 2007 and a paper on “The Impact of Globalization on Local Architecture in Ghana” in the book Architecture and Identity published by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, USA and London, UK in 2008.


Architect, Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

John Lin is an architect based in Hong Kong. He was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the US in 1983. After studying in both the Art and Engineering programs at The Cooper Union in New York City, he received a professional degree in Architecture in 2002. His experimental constructions have been published widely and exhibited in the Architecture Park (Kolonihaven) at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen (2004), the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2007), the Beijing Architecture Biennale (2008) and at the Venice Biennale (2008). He has received two commendations for his ‘Qinmo Village School’ and the ‘TaiPing Bridge Renovation’ projects in the Architecture Review Awards for Emerging Architecture (2009). His current research concerns the relationship between Rural and Urban China with a focus on the sustainable development of Chinese Villages. His projects include the design of several school buildings, a village community center, and a sustainable rural house prototype in China. Located in rural areas of Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Hainan and Guangdong provinces they integrate local and traditional construction practices with contemporary sustainable technologies. The projects coordinate between mainland Chinese and Hong Kong universities, local governments, bureaus of education and ministries of construction, along with NGO’s and charity organizations in Hong Kong. He has taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. 


Organic Architect, Solid Earth Adobe Buildings Ltd, New Zealand

Verena Maeder is co-owner of Solid Earth Adobe Buildings Ltd. (www.solidearth.co.nz), a company based in New Zealand that specializes in adobe brick manufacturing and earth building construction.  Maeder trained as an organic architect in Switzerland, where she did an extensive research on earth building.  She is an earth building artisan with 17 years of experience in the construction of earth buildings in Switzerland, Germany, and New Zealand.  She is skilled in earth wall finishing and plastering with earth.  Maeder has written on the health aspects of earth as a building material.  Since 2007, she has been the chair woman of the Earthbuilding Association of New Zealand.


Architect, Rahoul Singh Design Associates, India

Jason McDonald began his designing and building career at a very young age in the forests of Pennsylvania, USA, building tree houses and forts out of whatever nature gave him.  Now established, he is using these same ideas to create structures that embrace nature both in their aesthetic as well is in their environmental impact.  He practices design under the belief that architecture is the culmination of the omnipresent dialogue and relationship that exists between humans and nature.

McDonald graduated as an environmental science and architecture joint major from Middlebury College.  He has worked with and done sustainability consulting for New York architecture firms such as Lisa Dubin Architect, Laura Heim Architect, and Serett Metalworks.  He also resided in New Delhi, India, where he worked on a sustainably designed housing project and eco-resort with Rahoul Singh Design Associates.  He has traveled extensively through Asia and learned, among many other things, about what sustainability really means, and the drastic effects that architecture and design have on people and their culture.


Architect, Enviu/OS-House, The Netherlands

Vincent van der Meulen was the initiator of Open Source House Design Competition (www.os-house.org) with Enviu in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  With over three thousand participants worldwide, the Open Source House Design Competition aimed to start a viable sustainable business that provides access to better and sustainable housing for Ghanaians. 

Vincent van der Meulen graduated from TUDelft in 2007. His final project was a centre for digital art in Kaliningrad, Russia.  He currently works in Rotterdam as an architect at Kraaijvanger • Urbis.  Within the office, he researches sustainability in architecture and currently brings this research into practice in projects like the city halls of Venlo and Haren.  He won design competitions like the World Sustainability Centre Afsluitdijk and the Self-Sufficient Floating Home in Amsterdam.


Architect, Shelters Architects, Burkina Faso

Ephréme Ouedraogo is the Director at Shelters Architects, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso that engages in research and design of modern buildings and art objects involving use of African traditional design and local materials, and have plan to start training programs for local craft persons and masons.  Ouedraogo studied architecture and urban planning at EAMAU in Togo from 2002 to 2008.  For his diploma, he researched sports facilities and proposed a sport complex with focus on sustainable development, and adaptation of traditional design to modern buildings.

Earlier, Ouedraogo took part in heritage colloquia organised by Africalia in partnership with EAMAU and studied African architecture heritage with the UNESCO architect Aimé Gonçalves and Afrobrasilian architecture heritage, Abomey palace architecture, and vernacular building materials.  In 2007, Ouedraogo took part in a training of trainers’ workshop at Kumasi.  It was a UNESCO sponsored capacity building for protection, management and valorisation of world heritage related earthen and indigenous architecture.  The objects were Ashanti traditional building and Koutamakou architecture (Tata temberma).  As a student, he was sent by the school with Mr. Gonçalves who did lectures and train the trainees, and Ouedraogo accompanied him to learn.


Architect, Kochi University of Technology, Japan

Kikuma Watanabe is an associate professor of architecture at Kochi University of Technology in Japan and is responsible for the design of several wonderful earthbag projects around the world. Watanabe has a refined sense of design that enables him to combine a variety of forms into intricately balanced works of art, often rooted in the local culture.

Watanabe was born in Nara, Japan in 1971.  He was educated at Kyoto University (BA and MA), and left the doctoral studies.  He founded and worked at Toyokazu Watanabe Architecture studio from 2001 to 2007, when he established D environmental design system laboratory in 2007.

Watanabe collaborated with Akio Inoue (a Japanese professor of philosophy) on designing an eco-village near Lake Victoria in Uganda, and constructed a model unit of it with Earth-bag Construction Technology.  A detailed account of this project can be seen at earthbagbuilding.com.  In Jordan, he designed a cultural center for the Al-Jawasreh Society that has three architectural components: Jordan’s traditional stone building, modern reinforced concrete, and earthbag domes.  The cultural center, as are most of his designs, is integrated with the landscape to create a unified whole.


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