Photo shows a design proposal for a school in Malawi, not an actual building

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A photo has been shared thousands of times on Facebook with a claim that it shows a secondary school in Malawi built with wood and bales of straw. But this is misleading: the image is a visual representation of a design proposal for a secondary school in Malawi. An Indian architectural firm developed the concept for a competition in 2019 and confirmed that the prototype has yet to be built.

The photo, which has been shared over 1,100 times, has been posted here on Facebook on April 5, 2021.

“This is a secondary school in Africa – Malawi and it is made of wood and straw bales, designed by Nuru Karim and co. It is such a fine example of African architecture at its best design,” reads -on in the caption of the article.

A screenshot of the post, taken on April 12, 2021.

Design proposal not retained by the competition jury

A reverse image search ultimately led to this article on the housing design concept, which was submitted to an architectural competition to build a school in Malawi in 2019.

The competition was organized by Archstorming, a platform dedicated to humanitarian architecture competitions, in collaboration with an NGO called Active Africa.

The two organizations confirmed that the school design of Mumbai-based design company Nudes was entered in the competition in 2019 but did not win any awards.

“The design of the Straw Bale School was entered in an architectural design competition to build a school in Malawi in 2019, but was not selected by the jury as the final design to be used for the construction of the school.” Active Africa spokesperson Teresa Garolera said. .

Nudes founder Nuru Karim also told AFP Fact Check that his company entered the design in the competition.

“Nudes plans to develop prototypes to further test its potential… The project is in the design stage and has not yet been built,” he said.

The winning school contest design was made by Ben McMillan and DeQuales Thompson from Texas, USA.

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