Written by Ana Asensio Rodríguez. June 20th. World Refugee Day.
When we think of emergency architecture, what usually comes to mind are villages razed by flooding, by a hurricane or tornado. Families who have lost everything. From catastrophe emerges a new home for a new life, a new future to rebuild from the debris. But there are many other emergencies of an equally – if not more – dramatic nature.
Political and armed conflicts displace tens of millions of people every year. In the 2012 census collected by ANCUR, it was estimated that “43.3 million people in the world were displaced by force due to conflict and persecution. Children constitute 46% of this population.” These are not people who are starting from 0 with a new home, but rather who have run to save their own lives, taking with them only what they can carry – the things that will furnish houses that aren’t houses, because their inhabitants aren’t citizens.
But a refugee camp is also a city.
Recovery efforts are underway in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore after a deadly, 1.3-mile-wide tornado carved a 20-mile-long swath of destruction through neighborhoods and schools on Monday afternoon. With winds up to 210 miles per hour and a death count that currently stands at 24, President Obama has declared this tornado to be “one of the most destructive in history,” ranking it at a Category 5.
In an effort to help, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have mobilized their teams to provide instant assistance and aid in long term reconstruction efforts. Although professional design and construction volunteers from both organizations are already on the ground, the community needs your help. Find out how you can help the residents of Moore after the break.
Architecture for Humanity-Denver is seeking to raise money for the transformation of a museum parking lot into an outdoor classroom for children in need. The goal of Denver’s Museo de las Americas is to educate the community about the diversity of Latino Americano art and culture from ancient to contemporary through innovative exhibitions and programs, but the museum is lacking the necessary space for its increasingly popular youth summer camp.
Read more about the project and how you can help after the break.
With only 3% of Africa’s 1 billion population capable of accessing broadband internet and the wealth of information it provides, a multidisciplinary team, led by a strategic partnership between Architecture for Humanity, Gensler, Son & Sons, Librarians Without Borders, has embarked on an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to create a network of low-cost, digitally powered, revenue-generating libraries “deployed along the expanding fiber optic infrastructure in the developing world.”
If successful, Librii will become the first library to actively engage users as content creators, while operating on a sustainable business model and maximizing the potential of high-speed information exchange in developing markets.
Learn more about this initiative and support their Kickstarter campaing here.
With love in the air this Valentine’s Day season, there is undoubtedly no better way to express your feelings to the architecture enthusiast in your life with these one of a kind architecture love cards. Made especially to share with your loved ones and those you care about most, celebrate this year’s loveliest season with these simple, yet elegant cards featuring well-known architectural wonders throughout the world from the Eiffel Tower to the Golden Gate Bridge. Thanks to Architecture for Humanity, just by visiting here, you can easily download one, two, or several of these cards which remind you why you love architecture so much! More images of love cards available can be viewed after the break.
On August 15th, 2007 a powerful earthquake hit the region of Ica, Perú, destroying the small Maria Auxiliadora School. The first responders left after a matter of months, but the damage remained. Resources were shuffled to the big cities, and the small school waited, for years, for the authorities to take on the reconstruction. They never did.
And so, with help from Architecture for Humanity Design Fellow, Diego Collazo, and with funding from the Happy Hearts Fund and the SURA Group, the community decided to take the school’s – and their children’s – future into their own hands. This SEEDoc, the latest installment of inspirational mini-documentaries from the Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design), tells their story.
More after the break…
Architecture for Humanity has had a busy year. From continuing efforts in Haiti and Japan to their Post-Sandy initiative to open two new offices in New York and New Jersey, they could use a little help to get to their annual goal.
So they’re auctioning off 7 sketches from famous architects – from Steven Holl to Renzo Piano to Frank Gehry. Everyday this week (starting December 20th), they will announce which architect’s sketch is the piece of the day on their web site. The first $5K donation before 12pm PST gets the artwork.
Check out which other famous architects have contributed their sketches, after the break…
Hosted by Architecture for Humanity, the Guerrilla Green Sustainable Showdown is a youth empowerment challenge for all US students. Using a ‘March Madness’ bracket system, they are putting the top 8 school teams from different regions against each other, to turn a great idea into a solution that can be scaled throughout the campus. If you can come up with a way to improve your school by making any space or program in your school more eco-friendly, now is the opportunity to win cash to hack your school green. Submissions are due February 1st. For more information, please visit here.
If you missed Design Like You Give A Dam: LIVE! - the Architecture for Humanity event of panel discussions and workshops at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco - you must check out this short video.
The event brought together people from all walks of life from all corners of the globe, united by one simple idea: design can better human life.
As ArchforHumanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair explained of the event: “We had architects from Medellin, Colombia talk about how to prevent violence through architecture. We had thoughtful leaders who have come from small towns in the Midwest that were devastated by tornadoes that galvanized their community and rebuilt them. We had lawyers that talked about how to create a better justice system – really looking at the human experience within the built environment. [...] The thing about this conference is that we don’t just show you ideas, we show you how those ideas get built.”
Check out videos of the Conference’s Panel Discussions, after the break…
Taking place November 12-13, the 3rd annual Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! event will consist of innovative panel discussions, workshops and the ‘Design Open Mic’ event at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. Design experts and enthusiasts, industry leaders across disciplines and more come together to address the challenges and lessons learned in humanitarian design and community development. Panel topics address cutting-edge topics and small-group workshops allow participants to gain hands-on knowledge from expert panelists. Put on by Architecture for Humanity, this will be the first year this event is coming to the west coast. For more information, including an itinerary of events, please visit their official website here.
“As whenever disaster strikes, it will be many days before the full impact of the storm is brought to light, and which communities will be in largest need of design support as the broader reconstruction effort proceeds. However we are not waiting for water to recede before preparing a reconstruction campaign.” – Cameron Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity co-founder
Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York and New Jersey last week, Architecture for Humanity volunteers have been in action – not just aiding in the recovery efforts, but also analyzing how/where long-term reconstruction efforts will need to be focused. Indeed, Architecture for Humanity’s co-founder, Cameron Sinclair, has already published the organization’s 5-point strategy for long-term reconstruction in the areas most severely impacted by Sandy.
Architecture For Humanity’s strategy for reconstruction (and more information on how you can get involved), after the break….
Following Hurricane Sandy’s devastating path through the Caribbean, up the Atlantic and into the East Coast of the United States, hundreds of communities are in need of immediate relief and facing the daunting challenge of rebuilding. In effort to help, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) are mobilizing their teams to provide instant assistance and plan for the long term reconstruction efforts. Professional design and construction volunteers from both organizations will be working together to help households, schools, heath facilities, small businesses and local government rebuild in the coming days and weeks. However, relief and reconstruction cannot happen without your support. Learn how you can help after the break.
As previously announced, the Portuguese architects behind “OCO – Ocean & Coastline Observatory” have won Habitat for Humanity’s Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS 2011. Over 500 teams from 74 countries submitted innovative solutions for the recovery and reuse of disabled and abandoned military sites. These submissions were filtered down to 13 finalists by a jury of 33 esteemed professionals. The Lisbon-based architects of OCO claimed grand prized with their vision to redevelop a desolate military site, that once defended the coast of Trafaria in Portugal, into a civic space that promotes coastal preservation.
Continue after the break for more.
Architecture for Humanity has announced the winners of the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS competition. Designers were challenged to team up with community groups from across the globe and develop innovative solutions that re-envision closed, abandoned and decommissioning military sites. The response was overwhelming, as 600 international teams registered from 70 countries. A jury of 33 professional evaluated the submissions based on community impact, contextual appropriateness, ecological footprint, economic viability and design quality, and filtered the teams down to only 23 semi finalists. Now, the winners of those finalist have been revealed!
“We wanted people to look at former military installations and ask ‘How can we re-envision spaces that exist in difficult, sometimes hostile environments and transform them into something positive?’” stated Architecture for Humanity executive director Cameron Sinclair, as reported on Wired. “We want to use the design process to weave the community back together. It might be a quilt of many different pieces, but in the end, it’s a quilt, and that’s what makes it work.”
Continue after the break to review the winning proposals!
The semifinalists were recently announced for the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS competition. Launched by Architecture for Humanity, the competition asked architects and designers to partner with community groups across the world and develop innovative solutions to re-envision closed, abandoned and decommissioning military sites. After a hard week of voting, during which time jurors had to make tough decisions between the 200 uploaded entries, the semifinalists have finally been determined with the five winning places . They thank all of the participants for their hard work. For a complete list of all the semifinalists and their projects, please visit here. More images can be viewed in the gallery after the break.