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2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS Semifinalists

Amphibia by J.Yanez
Amphibia by J.Yanez

The semifinalists were recently announced for the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: 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.

2012 Disaster Response Grant Recipients

Architecture for Humanity Helping Haiti © NY Daily News
Architecture for Humanity Helping Haiti © NY Daily News

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity have announced the five recipients of the 2012 Disaster Response Plan Grant. Awards totaling $10,000 will help each group implement their locally driven preparedness project in the second half of the year. The Disaster Grant Program is part of the Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Program, which coordinates the organizations’ advocacy, education and training to help architects make effective contributions to communities preparing for, responding to and rebuilding after disaster. The 2012 grant recipients are:

AFH's I Love Architecture Charity Auction is Live!

via AFH
via AFH

If you love architecture, this is one auction you won’t want to miss! Architecture for Humanity has launched their highly anticipated I Love Architecture Charity Auction, featuring over 70 sketches from 50 of the world’s top architects and designers. The time to start bidding is now, as the auction will close on June 29th. All proceeds will support Architecture for Humanity. Contributions from: Frank Ching, DJ Spooky, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Fumihiko Maki, HWKN, J. Mayer H., Steven Holl, Bjarke Ingels, Michelle Kaufmann, Kengo Kuma, Daniel Libeskind, Andrew Luck, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Alysia Reiner, Kevin Roche, Richard Rogers, Moshe Safdie, SHoP Architects, Paolo Soleri, Michael Van Valkenburgh, Tod Williams + Billie Tsien, Zoka Zola and many more. Start bidding here!

Design Like You Give A Damn [2] / Architecture for Humanity

There are few organizations that would utter the words: “we need to constantly look for ways to make ourselves redundant” (46).

But Architecture for Humanity isn’t your typical organization. Since its inception in 1999, the company has put design professionals in the service of local communities, empowering these locals to the point where, frankly, they don’t need the architects any more.

And Design Like You Give A Damn : Building Change from the Ground Up, written by Architecture for Humanity co-founders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, isn’t your typical architecture book. More like an inspiration design manual, Design Like You Give A Damn  offers practical advise and over 100 case studies of projects that share Architecture for Humanity’s mission of building a sustainable future.

Beyond chronicling inspired designs and against-the-odds accomplishments, the book importantly offers a provocative philosophy : architecture belongs, not to the architect, but to the people and the world for whom it is designed.

After the Meltdown: Where does Architecture go from here?

You can get into Architecture for one of two reasons: good architecture or bad. For Cameron Sinclair, the co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, it was the latter. As a kid, Sinclair would wander his rough-and-tumble South London neighborhood, contemplating how it could be improved (and creating elaborate Lego models to that effect). Instead of soaring skyscrapers or grand museums, he was inspired by buildings that “integrated your neighborhood in a way that made people feel like life was worth living.” But that’s not Architecture. Or so he was told when he went to University. Architecture Schools have created curriculums based on a profession that, by and large, doesn’t exist. They espouse the principles of architectural design, the history and the theory, and prepare its hopeful alumni to create the next Seagram Building or Guggenheim. Unfortunately, however, the Recession has made perfectly clear that there isn’t much need for Guggenheims – certainly not as many as there are architects. As Scott Timberg described in his Salon piece, “The Architectural Meltdown,” thousands of thousands are leaving the academy only to enter a professional “minefield.” So what needs to change? Our conception of what Architecture is. We need to accept that Architecture isn’t just designing – but building, creating, doing. We need to train architects who are the agents of their own creative process, who can make their visions come to life, not 50 years down the road, but now. Today. We’ve been trained to think, to envision and design. The only thing left then, is to do. More on the public-interest model and the future of Architecture, after the break…

Mud Structure / Architecture for Humanity Tehran - Rai Studio

© Mahsa Masoudi
© Mahsa Masoudi

The exploratory mud structure project, designed and built by Architecture for Humanity Tehran (Rai Studio) + Architecture Faculty of Razi University, demonstrates a strong focus on humanitarian design through sustainable and low budget construction methodologies. The workshop not only provided the students with an enriched academic experience, but the opportunity to reach out to an underdeveloped region. More images and their description after the break.

The Multiplier Effect: How Design (and the Internet) Connects Us

Stop right there. Before I begin this post with a cliché dictionary definition, I direct you to what’s usually overlooked in these openings: the part of speech.

verb (used with object)

Without reading the definition, we know. Design is the act that connects the human being to the object outside him: the way in which intentions, thoughts, concepts take form.

On a basic level, design connects human beings through the shared experience of said object – be it functional or purely aesthetic. But it’s not just the object which connects us – it’s the idea that inspired it. On another level, and perhaps at its purest, design connects by inaugurating us into a collaborative spirit of innovation.

The AIA’s latest Design Conference, Design Connects, has invited bloggers to reflect how design connects us in a way that will build a better future. We at ArchDaily, biased as we may be, think we have the answer (it’s in the invitation): the Bloggers.

To read how design and the Internet connect us to thousands of elementary school kids, the sci-fi dsytopias of a NASA scientist, and a poverty-defying advocate looking to change the world  - all in 24 hours – keep reading after the break.  

David Assael and David Basulto, founders of ArchDaily, at Postopolis in Los Angeles, California.
David Assael and David Basulto, founders of ArchDaily, at Postopolis in Los Angeles, California.

AIA and Architecture for Humanity launches Disaster Plan Grant Program

Architecture for Humanity Helping Haiti © NY Daily News
Architecture for Humanity Helping Haiti © NY Daily News

With the realization that disasters are an unavoidable reality, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have launched ArchitectsRebuild.org in an effort to eliminate “that first awkward and uncoordinated period when people, eager to put their talents into response and recovery, can’t find the means.” As we announced last month, the two organizations formed a strategic partnership to better coordinate advocacy, education and training that will allow architects to become more involved in helping communities prepare, respond and rebuild after a disaster, known as the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Program. As promised, they have now completed the first task on their agenda, establishing a Disaster Plan Grant Program. Continue reading to learn more.

2012 Midwest Tornado Recovery: Architecture for Humanity needs your Help!

Harrisburg, IL 2012 Tornado Damage © State Farm
Harrisburg, IL 2012 Tornado Damage © State Farm

According to the national weather service, 30 tornadoes struck 6 Midwest states hit by a string a tornadoes. In many places there was a severe weather warning but no tornado alert. Harrisburg, a town in southern Illinois of 9000, was hit the hardest with 300 homes, 25 businesses and 6 lives lost. Illinois and Missouri declared state emergencies and are being assisted by relief organizations. 2011 was the worst tornado season since 1936 and the events of this week mark an early start to the Midwest’s storm season. More tornadoes touched down in Alabama Friday morning, destroying several homes and damaging a prison. More continue to touch down as this message is going out. Harrisburg was spared further damage this week, but storm season has just begun. Currently, community members and the Red Cross are teaming to repair roofs, clear debris and provide emergency relief services in Harrisburg. Branson, MO, launched a similar cleanup. As lightly-damaged homes and households recover, attention will turn to long-term recovery. That’s where we come in. Yesterday brought an impressive appeal for volunteer and fundraisings support, and Architecture for Humanity has launched the Midwest Tornadoes Recovery campaign with a fundraiser goal of $100,000. Architecture for Humanity is calling all architects for help! If you are in the area, please consider volunteering. If you are not in the area but would like to help, just go to this link at Architecture for Humanity to donate and support architects volunteering in the Midwest. Via Architecture for Humanity

The AIA announces new Partnership to further Disaster Relief and Rebuilding Efforts

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity have announced their new strategic partnership to coordinate advocacy, education and training that will allow architects to become more involved in helping communities prepare, respond and rebuild after a disaster. The new partnership will build upon the well-established, volunteer-led disaster response programs of each organization, allowing for more resources, programs and education to reach out to a larger group of members, professionals and the public.

USGBC and AIA announce second Architecture for Humanity Sustainability Design Fellow

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announce Burtland Granvil, AIA, LEED AP as the new Architecture for Humanity Sustainability Design Fellow. Succeeding the first Sustainability Design Fellow, Stacey McMahan, AIA, LEED AP, Granvil will be working directly with the Haitian community at the Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding center based in Port-au-Prince.

“The earthquake didn’t take as many lives as the poor quality of construction did,” said Granvil. “Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuilding Center in Haiti will help educate and build together with local current and future builders of Haiti…this is the main reason why I joined Architecture for Humanity. I am here with others to work on the long-term approach. Haiti, as well as other post disaster areas, can benefit from this kind of transitional office with this mindset.”

Viewpoint Interview’s Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity

Viewpoint’s Veenarat Laohapakakul interviews Architecture for Humanity’s co-founder, Cameron Sinclair. Sinclair begins the interview by stating, “I became an architect because of bad architecture”. He dreams of holistic design that allows for communities to grow together, believing a truly sustainable building should be an important piece of the social fabric within a community that helps achieve economic stability. “Quite often our buildings are not super beautiful, their not slick, but their loved.”

The interview discusses topics such as the mission of the organization, past and current projects, the second edition of the much anticipated Design Like You Give a Damn, the Open Architecture Network and much more. Continue after the break to view parts two and three of the interview.

How We Work / Architecture For Humanity

With the New Year approaching, how will you give thanks for a great 2011?  We are big supporters of Cameron Sinclair’s Architecture for Humanity  and we hope this video will inspire you to join their efforts in some way in 2012.   In the past few years, we have experienced serious natural disasters and Architecture for Humanity constantly provides a sense of stability, offering immediate help and a future plan for those most severely affected.   In the past 12 years, the organization has built over 2250 structures in 44 countries  - an amazing accomplishment that has impacted millions of people.   How many more millions can we help in 2012?  Check out Architecture for Humanity to join their team, and make this a resolution you will keep.

Sir Peter Cook's 75th Birthday Art Auction and Exhibition

Will Scobie
Will Scobie

Sir Peter Cook is 75 and to celebrate the iconic British architect and Archigram co-founder’s birthday, 75 established and emerging international artists have produced a portrait of Sir Peter to auction for charity Architecture for Humanity aiding post disaster relief in Haiti and Japan. Both the auction and exhibition started on October 26th and runs until November 9th. The online art auction can be found at The Adam and Eve Projects while the exhibition is up at Space, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia. More images are included here after the break.

2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS

Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity
Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity has launched the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge: RESTRICTED ACCESS, asking architects and designers to partner with community groups across the world and develop innovative solutions to re-envision closed, abandoned and decommissioning military sites. The six-month competition requires designers to work with the communities surrounding these former places of conflict to transform hostile and oftentimes painful locations, into civic spaces built for the public good. More information on the competition after the break.

Architecture for Humanity Acquires Worldchanging

In recent architecture news, Architecture for Humanity has acquired Worldchanging, a nonprofit media organization dedicated to solutions-based journalism about the planetary future.  Worldchanging will merge its assets with the Open Architecture Network of Architecture for Humanity and two TED Prizes are also to be merged resulting in an unparalleled center of applied innovation, offering both ideas and tools for building a better world.

Cameron Sinclair, Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity, shared, “We are thrilled to connect with the Worldchanging community in order to expand the ways we can continue to make a difference across the world. Each project we do requires innovative solutions, resourcefulness, and passion. It’s a perfect fit.”

[Un]Restricted Access Competition / Architecture for Humanity

Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity
Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity has recently launched a graphic design competition to identify a compelling logo for the 2011 Open Architecture Challenge called Restricted Access. This year’s challenge is focused on re-purposing vacant military structures and sites. It will catalyze awareness, ideas, and most importantly – action.