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

12:00 - 21 May, 2012

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.

More about life lessons and tips from Design Like You Give A Damn after the break…

After the Meltdown: Where does Architecture go from here?

10:30 - 17 April, 2012

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

23:00 - 8 April, 2012
© 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.

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

13:00 - 3 March, 2012
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

USGBC and AIA announce second Architecture for Humanity Sustainability Design Fellow

15:00 - 12 January, 2012

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.”

2011 Open Architecture Challenge: [UN] RESTRICTED ACCESS

11:00 - 26 October, 2011
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.

Video: Football for Hope

20:00 - 26 May, 2011

Architecture for Humanity’s Kimisagra Football for Hope Center in Kigali, Rwanda has broken ground. This video by Killian Doherty and music by Sophie Nzayisenga features the site location, renderings, and most importantly the communities excitement for the new center.

Sendai Update from Architecture for Humanity: Moving from Relief to Recovery

23:16 - 6 April, 2011

The most recent Architecture for Humanity Sendai relief update comes just in time to celebrate AFH’s 12th Birthday. We here at ArchDaily want to wish AFH a Happy Birthday and thank them for the 12 years of innovation and service they have provided our communities and the profession.

Design Open Mic, led by Cameron Sinclair and Chapters Coordinator Frederika Zipp, updated staff and attendees on their current relief efforts in response to the Sendai earthquake in Japan. Currently a Program Advisory Board has been assembled and Architecture for Humanity is continuing to focus their efforts on developing a rebuilding strategy and implementation process.

Architecture for Humanity Mobilizing Teams to Help with Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

23:11 - 12 March, 2011
Architecture for Humanity Helping Haiti © NY Daily News
Architecture for Humanity Helping Haiti © NY Daily News

Already mobilizing teams in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Architecture for Humanity has begun to initiate an immediate response to the Sendai earthquake and tsunami. Currently AFH is searching for individuals to join a coalition to update foreign nationals in Japan with the latest information regarding unfolding events (currently being done via twitter #honyaquake).

1.99 Real Housing: Communities + Designers

18:00 - 13 January, 2011

Reflecting the current state of architecture, urbanism and landscape discourse, Architecture for Humanity – Chicago, School of the Art Institute Chicago and the Village of Igarai are proud to announce, 1.99 REAL HOUSING: Communities + Designers, a call for ideas.

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund awards $800,000 to Architecture for Humanity

17:00 - 3 December, 2010
Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity
Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund just awarded $816,472 to Architecture for Humanity for the Haiti Rebuilding Center to support reconstruction and livelihoods in Port-au-Prince, a town that was catastrophically affected by an earthquake at the beginning of the year.  As a result, many large buildings were either severely damaged or destroyed. This fund will not only aid in the rebuilding process, but will benefit thousands of who were suffering since the natural disaster. Additionally, this grant will enable small and growing Haitin businesses to participate in post-earthquake reconstruction and ensure rebuilding incorporates better design and engineering. More information after the break.

2010 IIDA Pioneers in Design Award for Architecture for Humanity

12:31 - 28 March, 2010

The Pritzker will be announced in a few minutes. It will probably go to one of the figures you have already voted for in our 2010 Pritzker poll, but deep in our hearts we wish Architecture for Humanity to be awarded.

"Safe Trestles": Coalition Launches Two-Stage Design Competition

12:30 - 24 February, 2010

Access to Trestles, one of North America’s most celebrated waves, is under threat due to safety and environmental concerns. Currently, over 100,000 people each year follow informal trails through marshlands and over active train tracks to gain access to the surf breaks at Trestles. These impromptu manmade paths present a safety hazard with passing trains and threaten the fragile ecosystem of Trestles.

In response, a coalition of concerned groups organized by the volunteer non-profit organization Architecture for Humanity, are launching “Safe Trestles,” an open-to-all, two-stage design competition to create a safe pathway to serve surfers, the local coastal community and day visitors to San Onofre State Beach.

For more information on submission and requirements, click here. Watch a video after the break.

Helping Haiti

08:43 - 15 January, 2010

It has been reported that 3 million people (about a third of Haiti’s population) have been affected by the recent earthquake.  With that number expected to climb as the days progress, the number of casualties will be somewhere nearing 50,000.  Many countries are supplying immediate help as millions of dollars, and tons of food, water and medical supplies are rapidly being delivered to the small country.

2010 Homeless World Cup Legacy Center - Request For Proposals

12:30 - 22 December, 2009

With the Homeless World Cup arriving in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in fall 2010, Architecture for Humanity, Homeless World Cup, and Nike are teaming up with local partners Organização Civil de Ação Social (OCAS), and Bola Pra Frente (BPF) to establish multiple Legacy Centers to implement the Homeless World Cup influence beyond the week-long Tournament and Leadership Conference.

Architecture for Humanity, 2009 in review

12:30 - 8 December, 2009

Architecture for Humanity is a a charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crises and brings professional design services to communities in need. They do an amazing job all over the world and this has been an incredible year for them, specially for their Skatepark in Afghanistan.

During this year’s AIA Convention, we had the chance to interview Cameron Sinclair, the Co-founder and Eternal Optimist of AFH. Check the first part and second part of this great interview. After the break, we show you a review of everything they’ve done this year, and what’s to come.

Design It: Shelter Competition, remembering the Frank Lloyd Wright spirit

22:32 - 8 June, 2009

This year we not only celebrate the 142nd birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright, but also the 50 years of the Guggenheim, one of his master pieces (completed the year he passed away). These dates are not only commemorated with Lego Kits and exhibitions, but also with a very interesting competition held by the Guggenheim Museum and Google Sketchup.

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

15:16 - 28 May, 2009

As promised, the second part of the interview with Cameron Sinclair, Founder and Eternal Optimist of Architecture for Humanity.