AD Interviews: Cameron Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity (Part I)

During the AIA Convention we had the chance to visit Architecture for Humanity (now on their 10th anniversary) and talk with Cameron Sinclair, the Co-founder and Eternal Optimist of AFH.

is a a charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crises and brings professional design services to communities in need. A few years ago they adopted an open source model to let architects share designs with a Creative Commons license, resulting on Open Architecture Network, an open collaborative tool that allows people around the world to implement these architectural solutions.

AFH also edited the book Design Like You Give a Damn, a compendium of innovative projects from around the world that demonstrate the power of design to improve people’s lives. A second part is currently on the works.

Cameron was included on the list of the 13 young architects that presented their work on the closing session at the AIA Convention this year. He is also a Green Giant and a World Changing contributor, and has presented the work of AFH on TED (in my opinion, a highly motivational presentation).

I have decided to split this interview in two, leaving the regular set of questions in one part, and other specific questions on the other. This part focuses on how AFH works, delivering architectural solutions to the ones who can’t afford it in an innovative way, and also on the current economical crisis as an opportunity and Katrina.

Cite: Basulto, David. "AD Interviews: Cameron Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity (Part I)" 27 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • INawe

    Improving other people’s lives while improving our own at the same time. What a novel idea. ;)

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  • francis

    Brilliant idea and important work through a good model. Kudos!

  • Elizabeth

    Another great interview.
    Hi, David A and David B, I really appreciate the quality of your interviews, the news you bring, and your splendid blog. It is my daily mainstay, I need it like coffee in the morning!

  • Harsha

    There are almost 6.5billion people and most don’t have adequate housing. In addition as global warming sets in there will a tremendous amount of migration and resettlement. Architects should never be jobless. It is a failure of creativity if we cant put our skills to good use- and make money- when our skills are needed so greatly.

  • kurland duke

    It is very interesting to note that we have been given a gift, a gift that contains the power of change and order, how we contribute to the over all development of society and how it functions is of great importance. Affecting change for better is always best.

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