Picture of Ed o a SAWA project

Edward Dale-Harris

Founder + ARB Architect

ARB Architect, Edward Dale-Harris believes we must look beyond sustainability and move towards regeneration, we have to change our destructive behaviour and do much better to protect nature as citizens of the earth and stewards of the land. When we heal the land, we also heal ourselves.

We need more ‘self-directed learning’ to build self reliance, wellness and confidence. We must learn to share resources to create a healthier planet for all.

Ed realises the importance of a mindfulness approach to regenerative design, using nature as our teacher, and valuing a collective and collaborative decision-making process for a grounded and successful project.

He is on a mission to introduce others to socially, environmental and mindful architecture and to keep his learnings at a fair cost to enable all people from all walks of life and be truly inclusive.

Ed qualified as an Architect in 2017 and has gained many awards for his design, commitment, vision, compassion, charity work, environmental projects and peace building developments. In 2014 Ed founded SAWA with Enock Ruziga in Rwanda whilst working together on the 'a house for a victim' project.

In 2015 Ed received the ‘RIBA North West London Society Award’ at the CASS Design School for this project, nominated as the best live and community engaged project. Ed spent eight weeks on site building a compressed earth block (CEB) house with recently-released prisoners and some of the families of their victims. The project was instigated by Ed and the Ntarama House Building Cooperative, to facilitate development and peace-building in post genocide Rwanda. The cooperative was set up by REACH, a local reconciliation focused charity, to help reintegrate perpetrators back into their community, by enabling them to build homes for victims of the genocide.

This profound experience and research propelled the work of SAWA into the world of socially, environmental and mindful architecture. Ed has grown SAWA, into a collective of freelance professionals and pro-bono network of supporters. The structure is flat it has no hierarchy, each project is discussed openly and relationships and roles are defined on a project basis which meet the specific needs and constraints of each project.

Ed has collaborated with a range of community groups, individuals, charities, private businesses and professionals to deliver the best holistic well rounded result, fair to the environment and all.

In 2016 Ed received the ‘RIBAJ Rising Star 2016 Cohort Award’ for We Yone School in the Ebola-affected region of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Enabling 180 of the most vulnerable children in the community to attend primary school and provide a community space for adult learning. WYCF, the client, which nominated him for the RIABJ award, says: ‘Ed demonstrated a commitment to the charity’s mission and vision that made it very easy to entrust him with a great deal of responsibility. Ed would deliver design iterations while involving other experts to improve overall robustness (rammed earth consultants, pro bono volunteers from international engineering companies and partners from architectural firms)... he conducted workshops with men, women and children and the community’s vision became firmly embedded in the design. He adapted to... poor internet, uncompetitive contracting, bad weather, language barriers, variable conceptions of time, etc.’ RIBAJ who granted Ed the award says ‘Ed has set himself up as a designer who can be parachuted into unusual projects and places to get things moving: from mobilising the direction of the design to hiring and motivating the right team’.

In 2019 Ed received ‘The Agri Tech Centre AJ100 Best Collaboration of the year Award’ with Squire and Partners, with the judges describing it as ‘an exceptional example of architectural practices doing charitable work in the developing world’.

Ed has spent a large amount of time volunteering his skills in Rwanda and Mozambique, while seeing festivals as an opportunity to be socially active and experimental in the UK. Delivering projects in challenging environments: post '14 Ebola Sierra Leone, post genocide '94 Rwanda and '79 Cambodia and post '15 earthquake Nepal. Working closing with international and grassroots organisations to deliver appropriate and considered results.

For project enquiries please contact us on:

Email: sawa.architecture@gmail.com
Tel: +44 7899 657 128

For work opportunities please contact us on:

Email: sawa.engage@gmail.com


Benjamin Webster

Architectural Designer + Founder of WEB Ben is an architectural designer with experience in permaculture design and natural building, working on UK and international projects to promote the use of natural materials within mainstream architecture. Ben first joined the SAWA Collective in 2019, coming out to Thailand and joining the team working on the Thai Panacea project, helping design and build the Sala and toilet facilities. Ben has continued to support SAWA, working on UK planning applications and co-facilitating SAWA's workshops in 2021.

We Ecologically Build – Instagram


SAWA Projects:

Thai Panacea

Willow Cottage

Monks Forest Guest House


Tim Gledstone

Partner + Architect A longstanding collaborator of SAWA’s humanitarian architecture in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, using his passion for crafted architecture rooted in its location to create an accelerated vernacular. He designed the prototype for a series of Solar Leaning Labs for Computer Aid in South America and Africa, designed from repurposed shipping containers, and creates an annual art piece for Article 25’s 10x10 charity auction.

Squire and Partners

SAWA Projects:

Agri Tech Centre

We Yone Primary School

Nyamata School Hall

A house for a victim

Paul Edginton

Appropriate Technology Specialist A qualified electronics frequency communications engineer, with skills in mechanics, plumbing, electrics, solar, sanitation. He focus's on appropriate technology and permaculture. He has designed and built, regenerative refugee camps, new settlements, regenerating desertificated landscapes, and ecological festivals.
SAWA Projects:

Agri Tech Centre

Observation House

Matthew Duckett

Structural Engineer He has completed a number of humanitarian projects throughout Africa and Asia, designed and built compressed earth block and rammed earth structure in Zambia. He lead a team of BuroHappold engineers in the response to Cyclone Dineo, Mozambique, 2017.


Happold Foundation

SAWA Projects:

Agri Tech Centre

We Yone Primary School

Mucojo Hospital

Nick Cross

Part 1 Architectural Assistant Nick has worked across a range of UK based SAWA Projects, both on-site and remotely.

Enock Ruziga

Co founder, Rwandan Architect Enock is passionate about natural building, running workshops on earth and lime. He is a Rwandan Architect working for Rwanda Housing Authority in the Social and Affordable Housing Design Development department. He has designed and built houses, schools, roads for charities, religious organizations, individuals.
SAWA Projects:

Nyamata School

A house for a victim

Modelling a Village