University of Cincinnati and FRCH Helping to Rebuild Haiti

The people of Haiti are still feeling the pain of the earthquake of 2010, but the members of The Orange Tree Atelye (OTA Workshop) are still working hard to create a more sustainable Haiti for years to come. We are pleased to continue our FRCH/OTA relationship this spring.  This is a blog by Alex Betsch, UC Urban Design Student.

Photo representing the devastation of the earthquake of 2010 (Image via

We are The Orange Tree Atelye, a multi-disciplinary team of UC Cooperative Education students and Cincinnati professionals working to create a sustainable construction and community plan for the people of Haiti. We are perfecting our individual earthbag hut, which uses materials that are affordable, sustainable, safe, and culturally fitted. Our team has already built a research prototype shelter in Cynthiana, Kentucky (with the help of the Cynthiana Rotary Club) yet our work is still far from done.  This spring FRCH has once again generously provided workspace with computer stations and an abundance of programs and materials as well as employees who have volunteered their time to contribute to the completion of the overall goals.

Photos from Cynthiana, KY

The OTA goals for this quarter include finalizing the components of the individual hut, creating detailed AutoCAD and Revit models, seismic testing on a shake table, completing a construction manual (available in three languages: Haitian Creole, French, and English), and creating a village concept that will help stimulate Haitian connectivity, vibrancy, safety, and community access to resources such as clean water, adequate sanitation, cottage industry and organic gardening.

Located on the 5th floor at FRCH Cincinnati, we are always willing to have visitors. The input of architects, engineers, designers, planners, creative and compassionate souls is always helpful and greatly appreciated. Feel free to come down, check on our progress and share your thoughts!

About mikeotto
I'm the Director of Human Resources for FRCH Design Worldwide. Fulltime Dad, part-time rocker and occasional blogger, I believe that Human Resources professionals in the design industry need to be as creative as the designers they work for.

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