The first design workshop for our upcoming project in Zambia – check out all the action here!

A huge thank you to 3Space for providing the venue in central London and to Jonny Campbell, one of our volunteers, for creating this film.



We are thrilled to welcome on board a very talented new volunteer team for The Mutende Project II which will start on site in July 2013.  Along with James, Guylee, Gaynor, Paul and Selina, we will be building up to four new classrooms for the Harold Mwenge Memorial Academy which is run by the neighbouring Mutende Children’s Village where we built our chicken shed back in Easter 2012 (The Mutende Project I)!

The volunteer team is:

Jonny Campbell  (4th year, Welsh School of Architecture)

Paul Elliott  (3rd year, Mackintosh School of Architecture)

Ellie Garrard  (5th year, Architecture at the University of Bath)

Frazer Haviz  (4th year, Architecture at University of Edinburgh)

Rosalind Peebles  (3rd year, Mackintosh School of Architecture)

Jess Robinson  (2nd year, Welsh School of Architecture)

Hannah Wiessler-Leas  (3rd year, Architecture at University of Sheffield)

India Wills  (3rd year, Mackintosh School of Architecture)

Tom Woodward  (4th year, Welsh School of Architecture)

Emily Young  (1st year, Educational Studies at Swansea Metropolitan University)

Orkidstudio are proud to announce a new partnership with the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art.  The Architecture School is one of the world’s leading institutions for Architecture and under the guidance of Prof. Chris Platt (Studio KAP) has a strong culture of engaging students in physical making and craftsmanship.  We will be developing overseas humanitarian construction projects with the school, giving students a unique and exciting opportunity to travel, build and use their growing skills to help communities across the developing world.

To launch the partnership, our Founding Director, James Mitchell, gave a talk to staff and students at the MSA Friday Lecture Series on 7th December 2012.

We are also delighted to be taking three very talented Mackintosh students on our upcoming design and build programme in Zambia – The Mutende Project II.  News of the projects we will be developing with the Mac will be posted on our website.

A huge thanks to everyone who joined us for the St. Andrew’s Night Supper fundraiser at Kilmacolm Golf Club on Friday 7th December!  The event was a huge success and we raised over £4,000 towards The Mutende Project II this coming summer in Zambia.

Special thanks goes to our incredible patron, Mark Beaumont, for joining us and saying a few words, and to Peter Brown for providing the evening’s main entertainment.  To Allan Scott for educating us all about whisky, and a huge thank you to the Orkidstudio Scottish Fundraising Committee – Jill Morgan, Liz Duthie, Hilary Marshall, Arlene Polet, Janette Scott and Rosemary Beaton – whose tireless work continues to raise much needed funds for the charity!

Mark and James

Mark and James

Our Founding Director James was one of three torch bearers to proudly carry the famous flame on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.   With the rain holding back and the crowd’s infectious excitement the atmosphere in the centre of the city was buzzing.  Thousands lined the road to cheer James as he got his big chance to shine and run almost the entire length of one of Glasgow’s iconic streets, delighted to be representing Orkidstudio, which he founded in 2008.   People flocked to catch a glimpse as James passed the Olympic flame to non-other than Glasgow’s own Hollywood actor James McAvoy.  The two Jameses stood proudly as the duo of brightly burning torches was lifted high in celebration.  James said ‘‘it was an amazing day and I was overwhelmed by the huge crowds that had gathered along my leg of the relay. It’s great to have this kind of recognition for Orkidstudio and it was very humbling to be involved in such a rare event!’’.


Last weekend, many of you kindly came to St. Bride’s church in Glasgow and rehearsed a number of choral works, led by chorus master Ian McCrorie, followed by a beautiful performance in front of an audience of family and friends! We are very pleased to announce that we raised over £1,000 on the day, which will go towards our upcoming project in Zambia starting in Easter next year.

A huge thank you to everyone who came and supported this event and also to all the hard work and time taken by the Orkidstudio Scottish Fundraising Committee in making this such a memorable day!

We would like to say a huge thank you to The King’s School in Macclesfield, near Manchester, for kindly naming Orkidstudio as their charity for the academic year 2011/12. James visited the school in early October to give a talk to some of the boys at the school where he received a very warm welcome. We wish the staff and pupils all the best in their fundraising efforts this year and hope that they enjoy the many events they have planned over the course of the year!

Enjoy singing? Ever wondered what it would be like to perform live as part of large choir? Or maybe you’re already quite the pro and are keen to help us raise funds towards The Mutende Project?!

As we look ahead to our new project in Zambia we are holding a Come and Sing event in Glasgow this November! Led by the acclaimed Ian McCrorie, you will rehearse and perform to a live audience works by Vivaldi, Handel and Parry…and all in one day!

For more information or to book your place, please contact Jill on 01505 872655 or Full details of the event are below:


Come and Sing with Orkidstudio and Ian McCrorie

Sat 12 November


St. Bride’s Church, Hyndland Road, Glasgow

£10 entry



We hope to see you there!

The past year has certainly been a very busy one with our main activity being the on site construction of The Alalay Project in Bolivia. This was successfully completed around Easter this year and all of us are now back on home soil! We are still very much in touch with the Alalay and look forward to seeing how the new building contributes to the wonderful work that they do!


So, with another building completed we look eagerly to the future…Zambia!


We are currently in the early stages of developing a project in Zambia where we hope to help the Mutende Children’s Village ( The main construction project will take place during the summer of 2013, however, we will be running a shorter ‘design and build’ project in the coming spring as a way to familiarise ourselves with the place and local community. We hope this will enable us to better help the Mutende and gain a broader understanding of their needs and how we are able to apply our services most effectively.


We frequently receive emails asking for news on volunteering opportunities and we hope to release information on how to get involved in our Spring project by the New Year!


There is, however, another option for getting involved on a more permanent basis! With two projects already under our belts and the rapidly increasing support and demands on the charity, we are looking to form a Running Committee! The focus of this team will be to deal with the administrative duties of the charity as well as generating awareness, raising funds and organising projects. Those involved will also have many opportunities to visit foreign countries where we are working and to get involved across all aspects of the charity’s work.


More information on how to apply will follow shortly and will be posted on this website, however, if you are definitely interested or have any questions we would love to hear from you! So get in touch today by emailing and we will also send you a copy of the application details direct to your email address.


We look forward to hearing from you and thank you to everyone who has supported Orkidstudio and we hope you will join us in our ventures into Zambia and beyond!


Love, Orkidstudio