Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Tatjana Crossley

Second Advisor

Ana Gabriela Loayza


When mentioning the word hemp, especially in the local language of Madagascar, the literal translation does not set it apart from marijuana, as they are both called “rongony” - creating the stigma around hemp as the negative stereotype of marijuana. However, the material has been used by the ancestors of Madagascar, as well as across cultures, in its fibrous form to produce fabrication like textile goods and packaging. During colonization, the prohibition of hemp intensified, and since then, any activity related to either of these plants is prohibited and will end in severe punitive measures. This thesis explores the strengths and sustainable properties of hemp as a building material, and how it can help empower local communities in Madagascar. Through reconnecting with an ancestral and traditional plant while also combining traditional Malagasy architectural practices in construction (primarily brick making, biomimicry, and weaving). Looking at hemp in the material palette of Madagascar gives rise to the question: how hemp can help support and innovate Malagasy communities?


View exhibition online: Thierry Andrianambinina, Reintroducing Hemp in the Material Palette of Madagascar



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