The initial challenge to create a 300 dollar house was proposed by Vijay Govindarajan in the Harvard Business Review. These houses would be purchased with micro-mortgages by slum dwellers. The $300 price was determined to be affordable, but a new method of building would be needed to provide quality housing at that price.
By using thermal mass + a lightweight structure, I was able to reduce the cost while adding comfort to the house. Clustering the houses around courtyards introduced a collective nature to the housing. Then, by addressing how these clusters created streets, additional function and livelihood was added to the communities.