Six projects have been announced as the Public Interest Design Global Project Winners, an award organized by the Ecole Spécial d’Architecture, Design Corps and the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network. The award is given to projects which exemplify design for communities with the aim of improving lives, and the winners will be presented at a two-day event in Paris on April 18th-19th 2014.
Read on for descriptions of the six winners after the break
Can City, Sao Paulo, Brazil
In Sao Paulo, over 80% of waste recycling is done by independent waste collectors called Catadores, who collect waste they find in order to sell to scrap yards. Studio Swine created a portable aluminium foundry, which these Catadores could use to melt down drinks cans which they find in order to cast new products. The foundry would allow these people to significantly increase the value of the items they collect, providing them with a new source of revenue while also addressing issues of waste and recycling.
Comunidad Ecologica Saludable (Healthy Ecological Community), Lima, Peru
In Lima, an already acute issue with water scarcity is further exacerbated in the city's widespread slums, where a lack of basic infrastructure means many resident do not have access to safe water. To address this issue, the Informal Urban Communities Initiative developed a method to harvest water from the blanket of fog which frequently covers the city, giving a free and reliable source of water to those in slums. This new-found water security allowed the CES project to also develop small green spaces for communities to use to relax and also grow some food, addressing some of the wider issues facing slum dwellers.
Walk [Your City], Raleigh, North Carolina
In cities which have a dominant driving culture, Walk [Your City] is an attempt to make residents more aware of the opportunities presented by walking. Described as an "open-source guerrilla wayfinding project", it allows residents to create their own signs for local attractions, raising awareness both for residents who may just be discovering their city on foot, but also for local policymakers who are shown the opportunity for economic and social development in walkable cities. Though the project started with Walk Raleigh, its success has now been extended to cities across the USA and Canada.
TAEQ Green Building Headquarters, Sakhnin, Israel
This Building for the Towns Association for Environmental Quality (TAEQ) acts as both a case study and a learning center for green design principles. Created with locally-sourced natural materials, and designed to take as little energy as possible from the grid, the building hosts around 30,000 high school and university students a year to spread the principles of environmentally sound construction.
Butaro Doctor's Housing, Butaro, Rwanda
As an extension to their widely acclaimed Butaro Hospital, MASS Design Group's Butaro Doctor's Housing is designed to attract high quality talent to the hospital. By retaining the best doctors, the Butaro Hospital can continue to be a high quality facility in an area that sorely needs it. Once again, MASS Design group used the opportunity to add more than just a building to the community - they employed local people as builders, teaching them valuable skills and providing them with job opportunities.
Joler Jonno Utshob (Dug Well Pavilion), Dhaka, Bangladesh
This pavilion and well provide much more than just a source of water to the people of the community - as women are usually tasked with collecting water, it provides a valuable meeting space and a place to bathe which is not usually available to them, also providing shelter from the sun.