ecoMOD - Architecture for People (who'd've thought?)

While digging around for the update on EcoDesign Studies I stumbled upon ecoMOD and it jogged my memory. The School of Architecture at the University of Virginia describes it as "a multi-year research and design/build projects in which students and faculty will construct three ecological, modular, low income, prototype houses through a partnership with a non-profit housing organisation, Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA)." Which sounds real cool, but I think 4th year architecture design major, Christina Robinette, summed it up best ...... "ecoMOD is an extremely responsible project in terms of its economic, social and environmental agenda. As a member of this studio, I have had the opportunity to get a unique perspective in my education by focusing on design not as art, but something that can actually benefit society by meeting the needs of community members." [emphasis is mine] Wow. If only we could clone this aspect of the program and get it into design courses the world over. Seriously, how many more chairs and lamps can we conjure? Let's put students skills and talents to real use, designing for genuine need. Oh, yeh, and the ecoMOD students get to build the houses, not merely research and design them. That's architects using nail guns - will wonders never cease? Nothing beats getting ones hands dirty to topple a few ivory towers. Hooray for the U of V. ::ecoMOD