responding to madagascar’s need for education spaces


Thinking Huts, a nonprofit dedicated to making education more accessible with humanitarian-driven technology solutions, celebrates the completion of its highly anticipated 3D printed school in Madagascar. A project 7 years in the making, Thinking Huts opened the school — dubbed ‘Bougainvillea’ — in the city of Fianarantsoa. In partnership with the university Ecole de Management et d’Innovation Technologique (EMIT), Thinking Huts seeks to create jobs and support the catalyzation of economic growth within a long-term partnership.


Bougainvillea refers to Thinking Huts’ promise to increase access to education growing stronger over time and the flower was planted together with the community. See designboom’s previous coverage, along with visualizations of the larger planned campus here.

3D printed school madagascarimage © BOTO Friddet



the first step towards a larger ‘honeycomb’ campus


The architecture of the 3D printed school in Madagascar was created by Bruno Silva and Yash Mehta of Defining Humanity (see more here) based upon the honeycomb vision of Maggie Grout, Founder and CEO of Thinking Huts (see more here). The local construction was managed by SECOA.


Bougainvillea — formerly known as Hut v1.0 — will be replicated in both urban and rural locations where the need is greatest as Thinking Huts localizes the design based on community feedback and environmental considerations. Scaled honeycomb campuses of multiple connecting Huts are next on the roadmap. Drawing inspiration from the beehive, it symbolizes bringing together people to form a community that only thrives if everyone works towards a shared mission. 3D printing allows for a reduction of construction waste and time.

3D printed school madagascar
image © BOTO Friddet



the school’s 3D printed structure


The Madagascar school’s 3D printed walls consist of a cement mixture that withstands environmental pressure. Locally-sourced materials make up the roof, door, and windows — this hybrid design involves local manufacturers in the construction process while teaching 3D operational skills that can be utilized for future construction projects. Trusted local partners oversee the daily operations of the school, coordinate maintenance, and supply teachers.


Madagascar was chosen as the first location due to personal connections on the ground, local support, the estimated need for over 22,000 schools due to overcrowding and long travel distances, as well as solar energy opportunities.

3D printed school madagascarimage courtesy Thinking Huts



Thinking Huts Founder and CEO Maggie Grout comments: ‘The past two years have shed light on the urgency of human-centric, innovative solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. We look forward to growing as we address the need for schools while bringing people together and inspiring the next generation to make a difference. This is only the beginning.’

thinking huts completes its first 3D printed school in madagascar, with many more to come
image courtesy Thinking Huts

thinking huts completes its first 3D printed school in madagascar, with many more to comevisualization by Defining Humanity



project info:


name: Bougainvillea
location: Fianarantsoa​, Madagascar
organization: Thinking Huts

architectural design: Defining Humanity

photography: © BOTO Friddet