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Social Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

When the Best Laid Plans Go Awry: What Went Wrong with New Orleans' Make It Right Homes?

This article was originally published on CommonEdge as "Rob Walker on the Mistakes of Brad Pitt's Make it Right."

I will start with a confession: I was part of the fawning media swarm that lauded and applauded the accomplishments of Make It Right, Brad Pitt’s bold attempt to rebuild a portion of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. The project was, it seemed once, one of the few post-Katrina success stories coming out of that flood-ravaged community.

Francis Kéré: "I Draw on Paper, but I Prefer to Draw on the Ground"

This phrase caught my eye during Diébédo Francis Kéré's speech at the AAICO (Architecture and Art International Congress), which took place in Porto, Portugal from September 3 to 8. After being introduced by none other than Eduardo Souto de Moura, Kéré began his speech with the simplicity and humility that guides his work. His best-known works were built in remote places, where materials are scarce and the workforce is of the residents themselves, using local resources and techniques.

The 9 Architecture Topics You Need To Know About in 2018

2017 is in the past. Nevertheless, the year has left us a series of lessons, new wisdom and better tools to help us face the challenges of 2018. What surprises will this year bring us?

We asked our editors at Plataforma Arquitectura (ArchDaily's Spanish arm) to make predictions based on what they've learnt in 2017, and to share with readers the topics they expect to be in the limelight in 2018.

Project Earth 2: Cities of Tomorrow

Violent conflict and persecution, compounded by rising food insecurity, environmental degradation, poor governance and countless other factors, drove more than three million people to leave their countries as refugees or to seek asylum in 2016, joining millions of others already in exile. By 2050, because of the consequences of climate change, the amount of climate migrants could reach the number of 200 millions refugees. Refugee camps are usually planned, built and designed with the aim of fulfilling the basic human needs for only a short time, but only 189.300 refugees were resettled in 2016 and approximately 40% of the refugees

Even in Wealthy Cities, Architects Must Work for Social Justice in Every Way Possible

Woodward's Redevelopment. Image © Bob Matheson
Woodward's Redevelopment. Image © Bob Matheson

The "about" section of Vancouver-based studio Henriquez Partners Architects' website boldly states: "We believe that architecture should be a poetic expression of social justice." While empowering communities through socially conscious design is hardly a new concept, the term "public-interest architecture" tends to call to mind images of low-budget constructions. Rarely is it employed to describe the large, mixed-use projects that have come to characterize downtown Vancouver and Gregory Henriquez's firm.

However, experimenting with different models of social regeneration through architecture is the driving principle of the studio's work. Throughout the years, Henriquez has explored concepts such as affordable ownership and dignifying design for the city's disenfranchised communities. In partnership with local real-estate development and culture company Westbank, he has built a number of projects that seek to equalize living conditions for all in one of the world's most affluent and progressive societies. Here, in an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, Henriquez describes his firm's ethos, his stance on issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, and gentrification, and the lessons he's learned in over 30 years of heading Henriquez Partners Architects.

Open Call for Emergent Practices of Social Architecture

Emergent Practices - a joint project joint between XXI Architecture and Design Magazine and Faculty of Architecture, campus Sint-Lucas Brussels/Ghent, KU Leuven- launches an open call in search of everyday life impact of spatial practices. The open call is the first step of the research that aims to collect and generate critical content on the emergent practices of social architecture.

A selection of submitted projects will be used as case studies, observed and intervened during their implementation processes to generate a grounded discourse on social architecture and its impacts. A wider selection among submitted projects will be published accompanying the research entitled "Understanding the Emergent Practices of Social Architecture".

Ramboland Is Increasing Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities through Architecture Designed To Heal

Team Rambo, also known as Ramboland, is a project born from the need of Ron Rambo, born with Cerebral Palsy, for a home that can support his disability and increase his quality of life. However, Ramboland doesn’t just stop there. LEED Fellow Max Zahniser, has used his experience with Green Architecture to combine Ron’s social vision with an environmental one that can benefit the entire community. The meeting of these objectives has been defined by the goal “to design a project that will actually increase the vitality of life and life-support systems in every way possible,” using architecture to make a difference.

Courtesy of Team RamboCourtesy of UnknownCourtesy of Team RamboCourtesy of Team Rambo+ 8

Buildify: Unlock the Potential of Bottom-Up Architecture

Buildify connects global professionals with local, community-driven architecture initiatives in need of support. Submit your project today!

Buildify - Architecture in Development’s new initiative is seeking new projects that aspire to improve the lives of rural or urban communities. Buildify supports community-driven architecture projects, helping them connect to the expertise and resources needed to upscale their impact.

A Look Back: 8 Years of Social and Urban Projects

In the past eight years the world has seen important changes – stemming from natural catastrophes, global warming, war, diseases, political and economic crisis among other things – all of which have a direct impact on the way we inhabit our planet and therefore how architects and planners are managing context-related designs for community living.

The importance of socially engaged architecture was highlighted by this year's Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena, whose work appeals to the idea of an active, committed architect who seeks for a democratic urban environment. This development also resonates strongly with ArchDaily's mission statement "to improve the quality of life of the next 3 billion people that will move into cities in the next 40 years, by providing inspiration, knowledge and tools to the architects who will have the challenge to design for them."

Therefore, in celebration of ArchDaily's 8th birthday, our Projects Team curated a selection of 24 exemplary projects divided into 3 categories. Each of these projects published over the past 8 years dedicate their design to find greater social, community, civil and humanitarian needs.

An Open Call: Frontiers of Responsive Architecture

The students of the MA Architecture + Urbanism invite contributors to participate in their forthcoming symposium FRONTIERS OF RESPONSIVE ARCHITECTURE to be held in summer 2016. If you feel that your Research / Practice responds to the mission statement outlined in previous posts in English / Italian / French / Chinese / Turkish / Arabic we would love to hear about it from you.

Summer School: Critical Concrete 2016

In 2015 Critical Concrete was founded with the ambition of promoting a new model: the refurbishment of abandoned places for social housing and cultural initiatives through summer camp programs centered around sustainable architecture and art in context. In this sense, we want to conceptually reconnect the artist to the amateur and foster the sharing of skills and knowledge between experienced practitioners and surrounding communities, material reuse and sustainable, ecological constructions.

Archiculture Interviews: Shigeru Ban

“An earthquake doesn’t kill people, the collapse of a building kills people.” In Arbuckle Industrieslatest interview released following their world premiere of Archiculture, architect humanitarian Shigeru Ban clearly delineates “natural” disasters as a product of mankind, rather than nature. Hear the Pritzker laureate’s thoughts on designing for minorities, disasters, and the importance of travel in the video interview above.