Second 3D Printed School in the World Opens in Madagascar

Second 3D Printed School in the World Opens in Madagascar

Madagascar’s First 3D Printed School by Thinking Huts, “Bougainvillea”

Madagascar’s First 3D Printed School by Thinking Huts, “Bougainvillea”

Bougainvillea flower plant, students, and team in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.

Bougainvillea flower plant, students, and team in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar.

A project 7 years in the making, completed by Chinese-American 22 year old Maggie Grout

PALO ALTO, CA, USA, June 13, 2022 / — Thinking Huts, a nonprofit dedicated to making education more accessible with humanitarian-driven technology solutions, announced today the completion of its highly anticipated 3D printed school in Madagascar.

A project 7 years in the making, Thinking Huts opens Madagascar’s first 3D printed school, project name “Bougainvillea,” piloted in 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.

“The past two years have shed light on the urgency of human-centric, innovative solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing problems,” said Maggie Grout, Founder and CEO of Thinking Huts. “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.”

The architectural design was created by Bruno Silva and Yash Mehta of Defining Humanity based upon Grout’s honeycomb vision. The local construction was managed by SECOA. For the 3D printing of the pilot, Thinking Huts partnered with 14 Trees, a company that has printed buildings in Kenya and Malawi.

Hut v1.0 (“Bougainvillea”) 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.

The 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.

According to UNESCO, one out of every three Malagasy children will not complete primary school. For those who do, 97 percent of Malagasy ten-year-olds are unable to read single sentences. Thinking Huts will address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 and 9, Quality Education and Industrial Innovation & Infrastructure, respectively.

The nonprofit aims to scale its concept and build schools in partnership with communities throughout Madagascar – eventually throughout the world – to
break cycles of poverty through education. The design will adapt based on technological advancements, each community’s environment, needs, and feedback.

Thinking Huts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit building a future that increases global education access through innovative, humanitarian-driven technology solutions. Its goal is to address barriers to education, such as travel distance and overcrowding, through sustainable education infrastructure. Leveraging 3D printing, Thinking Huts is on a mission to close the global education opportunity gap.

Thinking Huts was founded in 2015 by Maggie Grout, a 22-year old social entrepreneur whose origin story as an adoptee from China shaped her desire to empower those with similar origin stories, born into underprivileged communities, by expanding access to education.

Thinking Huts is currently seeking corporate and individual donations, as well as volunteers with an interest in education or technology to help achieve its ambitious goals. Find out more at or contact Sabrina Liguori [email protected] to schedule an interview.

Sabrina Liguori
Thinking Huts
[email protected]
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