In the heart of South Africa, a visionary project is redefining sustainable living. The Abundant Village, founded by MoveMe.Studio, is more than a village; it’s proof to the power of architecture in shaping a brighter, greener future. BSB Design’s involvement in this pro bono project highlights our commitment to innovative, sustainable design.

A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

At the core of Abundant Village lies a holistic approach to sustainability. BSB Design has seamlessly integrated architecture, land planning and sustainable solutions to create a community that thrives on water, food and energy security while offering education, housing, wellness care and job opportunities. Our role goes beyond conventional design, focusing on energy-efficient buildings and community spaces that promote well-being and harmony with nature.

Jeff Mulcrone, reflecting on the project, noted, “We originally were supposed to create a village that supported local indigenous people, mostly women and children, to house them and teach them skills to create marketable products. It evolved to include expanding a school, showing the adaptability and evolving nature of our goals”.

Local Collaboration, Global Impact

A key aspect of the Abundant Village project is collaboration with local businesses, technology experts and environmental enthusiasts. This initiative not only meets the community’s needs but also uplifts it. By sourcing resources within the region, the project demonstrates the potential of cost-effective solutions that can be scaled to benefit diverse communities. These collaborations aim to replicate such communities worldwide.

Devin Sigman shared, “We pivoted from residential designs to a community-based design, then to a school-based design. The infrastructure we created gives people a platform to excel. Here in the US, we have similar issues, but our infrastructure is more sound. We’re giving that step forward in places where it’s needed most”.

During their site visit to South Africa, Jeff Mulcrone, Devin Sigman and Jorgesta Lito worked hands-on, building the labyrinth, starting on the kitchen design and meeting the residents who would be directly impacted by the project. Devin designed the labyrinth, a central feature of the village that serves both practical and symbolic purposes. “Designing the labyrinth was a deeply rewarding experience. It’s a space meant for reflection and community gathering, embodying the heart of Abundant Village,” Devin explained. The labyrinth was constructed using locally sourced stones and designed to be a meditative path that encourages mindfulness and community interaction. For the kitchen area, the team began with a sustainable approach, using bricks and reclaimed wood to create a robust, eco-friendly structure. The design emphasized natural ventilation and lighting to reduce energy consumption. “The kitchen is not just a place for food preparation; it’s a hub for community activity and learning,” said Devin.

A Global Movement

Abundant Village is the spark that ignites a global movement towards sustainable living. The teams at MoveMe.Studio and BSB Design aim to create or inspire 100 such villages across the globe within the next decade. Jeff emphasized, “Our involvement in Abundant Village emphasizes our commitment to leadership and vision in sustainable design. It’s about showing the world that sustainable living is not a lofty dream but an achievable reality.”

Crafting a Sustainable Legacy

Abundant Village exemplifies the architect’s ability to be a catalyst for change. Through innovative design, local collaboration and a global vision, BSB Design demonstrates that architecture isn’t just about creating beautiful structures; it’s about creating a legacy that resonates with generations to come.

Michelle George, reflected, “Working on the Abundant Village has afforded the opportunity to return to the essence of architecture: providing places of being that nourish all aspects of our lives, mind, body, and spirit. Often, our day-to-day work is about the bottom dollar, which is important, but causes us to meander away from the humanitarian root of the profession. It has refreshed my mindset and reinvigorated a passion for creating spaces that can have a positive lasting impact”.

Jorgesta Lito reflected, “Being part of this project has been a huge deal for me. It has given me a lot of motivation in my daily tasks. Seeing the joy of the people and their reactions, like when they saw the prototype oven built right there, was very impactful”.

Enriching Future Projects

The insights and innovations gained from the Abundant Village project will enhance how BSB Design handles future client projects. The focus on sustainability, local collaboration and innovative design solutions will translate into more efficient, eco-friendly and community-centered designs for our clients.
Devin Sigman noted, “Participating in this project has made me more empathetic to our clients’ needs. Understanding the local culture and processes gave me greater insight into how we can better serve our clients”. Jeff Mulcrone added, “Working on this project made me realize the value of using our skills to truly help people. It has changed my perspective on the importance of our work”.

As Abundant Village takes its place on the horizon, it serves as a powerful reminder that every blueprint holds the potential to shape a sustainable legacy. BSB Design is proud to be at the forefront of this transformative journey, inspiring a global movement towards a greener, more sustainable future.