Colgate's EARTH/RISD wintersession studio took RISD students to Costa Rica to build this off the grid, hi-tech/lo-tech prototype classroom for rural schools. In the field, RISD students and faculty, along with members of the EARTH University community, finalized the design for the classroom; built elevations, a cistern/water purification system, doors and louvers, and the landscape. This Studio is part of an ongoing, collaborative project between EARTH University + RISD.
Ultimately, the classroom, with its inside/outside learning environments, demonstrates how integrating curriculum, teaching, energy and hi-tech systems, landscape and space contributes to a transformative learning experience.
EARTH University, based in Guacimo, close to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, is at the forefront of identifying, testing, and sharing techniques for sustainable agriculture and community development in the tropics. Since 2007, RISD and EARTH University have partnered to engage in design studios focused on many topics at the La Flor campus in Liberia, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica.