architecture for humanity
Chapter uarterly be inspired by worldwide chapter work
MEET OUR NEW CHAPTERS
HIGHLIGHTs: AIA CONVENTION
We made this! This Chapter Quarterly was produced by the Chapter Support Team: Commander-in-chief/ coordinator: Garrett Jacobs Graphic master mind/ coordinator: Tinna Lykke Madsen Guest Editor: Corey Schnobrich We send a great thanks to all the people who contributed with articles, photos and information. A special thanks to our writers and guest editor. Contact Architecture for Humanity T. +1.415.963.3511 F. +1.415.963.3520 GARRETTJACOBS@ARCHITECTUREFORHUMANITY.ORG @afh_chapters
Call for input Help! our quarterly magazine needs a name... We are very excited to launch this second issue of our Chapter Quarterly magazine. But as this issue goes out to “print” its official title is still undecided. Please join in and help us name the “Architecture for humanity chapter Quarterly magazine”! At hq we came up with a few ideas:
“WYSIWYg” What you see is what you get... It’s nice, it’s clean and it’s simple...
3 Connections “the essence” Looking at the big picture we think this is what the Quarterly Magazine should be all about...
“the pensive one” It’s got the ‘A ‘for architecture, the ‘H’ for humanity (please play with graphics!) Plus, it captures the way each chapter strives to achieve a better future...
Can you beat us to it? Come up with something different. All ideas are welcome!
Share your thoughts by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to Have a little brainstorm session at your next chapter meeting. We value all input whether it’s graphics, a name or your opinion on our ideas...
contents Manilla Light the world Event
New chapters Editorial Call for input Who gives Design Network News
44 16 Back to work
Features Summer links Chicago Back to work - from the ground up! London chapter events Live, make, and engage
Students - A segment of AFH chapter volunteers
In the pursuit of transparency and better cummunication
event highlights Dwell on Design Learning from the AIA convention Dwell on Design
05 06 03 10 14 44 12 16 18 24 28 32 36 38 42
Did you know?!
KNOW YOUR CHAPTERS
We welcome our new Sydney, Abuja, Newark & Melbourne chapters! Sydney & melbourne The Sydney Chapter focuses on helping the social and economically disadvantaged groups mainly through the provision of pro-bono design services. At the same time the chapter aims at becoming an active platform for advocacy and discussion about any topic related to Social and Environmentally Sustainable Built Environments (SESBE). Our budding Melbourne Chapter is still in the making but has experienced great interest at their initial meeting. The Chapter is currently getting ready for Park[ing] day with an updated homepage.
We are 58 Architecture for
humanity chapters united
Newark & Detroit Following Hurricane Sandy an increase in chapter leaders sprung up to establish a Newark Chapter in New Jersey. Though the group is based in Newark they will be addressing issues across the state. Given their proximity to the largest chapter in NYC we hope for a boost in the competitive edge for extremely creative activities to ensue. After a year’s ‘sabbatical’ we are very excited to see our Detroit Chapter back on its feet! Read more about their latest doings and future adventures inside.
With a committed core group of volunteers the Abuja Chapter is off to a strong start with an identified first community partner in the Abuja Private Schools Basketball League. Led by Taye Olajide the diverse groups is composed of architects, project managers, NGO managers, and even a lawyer! We are excited to hear about their progress in the coming months. Follow Afh
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editorial Organizations advocating for public interest design
SPUR 1910 www.spur.org ACD 1977 www.communitydesign.org ADPSR 1981 www.adpsr.org
Design Corps 1991 www.designcorps.org Architecture for humanity 1999 www.architectureforhumanity.org Public Architecture 2002 www.publicarchitecture.org
Public Interest Design blog 2011 www.publicinterestdesign.org
During the Structures for Inclusion conference I tapped my nostalgic vein for academic dialogue with the director of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University of Minnesota. It happened quickly; Ignacio San Martin offered up his office to store my luggage at the same time as he began to question me about the meaning behind the moniker Public Interest Design. “Aren’t we all working in the public’s interest?” he said, referring to all designers. I smirked as we debated the title. Leaving Minneapolis with an itch I couldn’t seem to scratch, I have since been considering what it means to be a public interest or humanitarian designer. Over the past few months I have been compiling an informal list of important occurrences in the design world that can help establish an understanding of what it is we’re doing. One theme seems to have stemmed from a notorious speech made by Whitney Young to an AIA audience in 1968 calling for architects to become relevant and admit their part in the civil rights movement. As you can imagine this was quite the zinger for the audience, but Young’s words spoke in large part to issues captured by Robert Goodman some four years later in his book After the Planners, where he labeled architects the “soft police” who silently execute the discriminating policies of the time. Since the height of the Civil Rights Movement there have been a handful of wonderful organizations advocating for social responsibility that go further than the one liner in the AIA bylaws which states “Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors”. As designers we train our empirical sense, our analytical criticism, and our communication agility in order to synthesize large quantities of information and translate our findings into a coherent resolution. Why should the focus be the physical environment? Perhaps our training and analytical competence is why Young helped identify designers as possible spokespeople for social equality. Young stated, “I am not suggesting the easy road, but the time has come when no longer the kooks and crackpots speak for America. The decent people have to learn to speak up, and you shouldn’t have to be the victim to feel for other people. I make no pretense that it is easy.” But it is necessary to create a more inclusive world. It’s becoming more prevalent to hear architects voice not only their opinion but their direct opposition to social injustices. A great example is ADPSR (founded in 1981), launching the campaign to amend the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct set forth by the AIA to take a stand against the design of execution chambers and “supermax” prisons set up for prolonged solitary confinement. The challenge from Young is a
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creative test not only to look at the work we do but how we go about expanding the methods by which we express ourselves. Recently the 2011 recipients of the Latrobe Prize took it upon themselves to pole the profession, gauging the interests and challenges of the public interest design field. Their report has just been published and can be found here. Out of the many statistics and responses that resulted from the research was a break-down of how public interest design is occurring in practice. The list is categorized to delineate between for-profit and non-for profit organizations as well as show the scale of the operation taking place. These break-downs begin to elucidate the actual practice of humanitarian design, clarifying the entry points for emerging passionate designers. Given both the current speed of information and a clearer understanding of the cause of economic and social stratification, the issue of accessibility to humanitarian design is becoming a major question on young designers minds. How do I get involved? How can I make a living doing what I am so passionate about? How can I track my skills to use as collateral in the profession? The AFH Chapter Network is attempting to answer those questions and is on its way to becoming a great venue for the young aspiring designer. We have begun the process of creating a strategic plan to aid certain chapters in transitioning into more defined chapter offices. As Kate and Cameron, the co-founders of our organization step aside from their roles it is now our time to begin shaping the wonderful cause they helped bring to the forefront of the profession. Itâ€˜s a necessity to develop the skill-building exercises required to bring the analytical mind into the central role of advocate for equality, from issues of development to public policy, community engagement and establishing strategic partnerships. One truly successful partnership comes from our chapter in Karachi, Pakistan. Designers who help define humanitarian design have more than just good intentions; they have the passion and desire to promote equality and social justice by developing strong relationships with those populations otherwise ignored or excluded from accessing the most basic services. After the horrific flooding in 2010 the Karachi Chapter quickly moved to establish a major partnership with the Karachi Relief Trust and The Citizens Foundation to construct over 1200 homes and multiple schools. Not only are the volunteer groups building actual structures, but also infrastructure such as lighting, pathways, sustainable amenities, and landscaping.
LAtrobe report definition For-profit integrated Practices Practices that have reconciled the economic demands of sustaining a for-profit practice with their social mission in most if not all of their for-profit work. Ex. David Baker and Partners Architects
For-profit practices w/ public interest pro bono initiatives Practices that devote a portion of their time/ billable resources (1-10%) to pro-bono initiatives concurrent with regular for-profit projects. Ex. Perkins + Will
Independent Non-profits The independent non-profit corporation opens up other sources of funding. This model is often used in the context of a broader range of projects than conventional practices and enables opportunities for considerable pro bono work worldwide. Ex. Architecture for Humanity
University programs and initiatives A growing number of U.S. universities educate students about socially responsible deÂ sign practices, by providing under served communities with deÂsign and planning assistance and built projects, and engage in research consistent with public interest objectives. Ex. Auburn University, Rural Studio
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“I am not suggesting the easy road, but the time has come when no longer the kooks and crackpots speak for America. The decent people have to learn to speak up, and you shouldn’t have to be the victim to feel for other people. I make no pretense that it is easy.” Whitney M. Young, Jr. Speech to the AIA, 1968
When we asked the chapter coordinator Mahboob Kahn about her meaningful experiences with the project, the social issues and interpersonal accomplishments were central to her discussion:
“We have enabled the women of our adopted villages, in ways we had not anticipated. On one of my visits, Rabia Bibi, a village resident, took me aside and thanked me for changing her lifestyle. I was surprised and elated by her response. She recounted that prior to the provision of attached washrooms and running water, she would walk at least ½ km away from her village after dawn to relieve herself, and during the day, because she felt embarrassed, would refrain from drinking any water (in the heat), to avoid further trips. After dark, when it was quiet in the village, she would go out a second time. This restrained and unnatural activity by the women has led to an increase in renal problems among the village women.” Not only has the facilitation of the chapter led to the improved lifestyle and health of women, but the will and perseverance of individual volunteers to address the needs of the people has guided the community to accomplish further outcomes: “KRT and AFH volunteers were able to impress upon the Sardar (the local landlord) of the area to give the women land right to their homes. Previously, this was unheard of! With this change, the local women have become secure and independent. Social awareness has drastically increased, and the women are now requesting assistance with education and health facilities.” I read this update from Mahboob while riding the train home and feeling completely drained after a long week. The story is simply remarkable. The concerted efforts of passionate designers to organize, collaborate, plan, and build communities supports the empowerment of individuals in taking ownership of not only their land but their rights to freedom,
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health and safety. This is key to the difference between those practicing traditional architecture and those passionate enough to call ourselves humanitarian designers. These chapter members verbally conveyed the needs of others and helped people achieve a measure of equality not before seen in their region. This is design in the interest of the public. So with the resurgence of Whitney Young quotes floating around the profession, we use this second issue of the chapter quarterly to discuss how we as architects, as concerned citizens, and as frustrated designers, can begin to voice our opinions publicly to influence change and help provide opportunity for those who may have lost sight of such hope. We have begun pushing beyond projects and are finding venues for our voices. Many chapters have found success through events, both raising funds and awareness of the chapterâ€™s activities, and simply getting an opportunity to explain to people what we do. The process of explaining your work enables you to speak your mind, in doing so you will become more acquainted with its contents. I encourage everyone to begin using their voice, step out of the project role and get involved in an event where you can force yourself to engage layman or other designers and understand what we need to move the profession further towards relevance. I am completely moved, emotionally energized and honored to be involved in this process, I only hope you share the same pride in your own work.
Outreach Coordinator, Garrett Jacobs
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Dominican Republic 2
Hong Kong 3
Costa Rica 1
South Africa 15
Sri Lanka 2
New Zealand 5
Saudi Arabia 1
Czech Republic 2
Puerto Rico 1
United Arab Emirates 3
the last 18 month almost 700 people pushed the â€˜give designâ€™ button on the Architecture for humanity website...
Summer Links chicago This summer the Chicago chapter hosted two paid interns for nine weeks as a part of the University of Chicago’s Summer Links Intern Program. By Bryn Namavani. Editors Betsy Williams, Tom Veed, Tracey Swanson Summer links interns Over the past few years, the Chicago Chapter of Architecture for Humanity (AFH-C) has applied to be a host organization for the highly competitive University of Chicago Summer Links Intern Program. With more than fifty internship hosts available to the thirty students accepted to the program each year, the University of Chicago program is an exceptionally competitive opportunity to find a highly qualified intern. Summer Links is an intensive 9-week internship program for undergraduate and graduate students of the UofC who are committed to public service, community building, and social change. Since its inception in 1997, over 200 non-profit organizations have participated in the program.
the Chicago area. The program also includes guest speakers and visits to other organizations. AFH-C’s interns worked alongside the Managing Director and chapter Board of Directors on a number of critical administrative goals, including aiding in the creation of the chapter strategic plan, grant writing guidelines, providing project-specific assistance, organizational outreach, and assisting in web development. In addition, AFH-C’s interns became an integral part of two of the larger projects taking place this summer.
Intern Nick Shatan worked with Project Lead Katherine Darnstadt on this year’s Activate! Much like the medical residency matching projects. A collaboration between AFH-C, process, students choose from the organizaLatent Design, and Chicago Department of tions that particTransportation ipate in the pro- AFH-C’s interns worked alongside the Managing (CDOT), Activate! gram. They then Director and chapter Board of Directors on a num- has grown from send out their re- ber of critical administrative goals, including aid- what used to be sumes and the ing in the creation of the chapter strategic plan, the “Street Furninon-profit organiture” Competition zations interview grant writing guidelines, providing project-specific to an urban land several students. assistance, organizational outreach, and assisting use and comNext, both the in web development. munity empowstudents and the erment platform. organizations assign each other rankings, proPast competitions have produced three viding reviews to help the matching process. temporary installations in underused Chicago neighborhoods. In 2010, AFH-C partEarly in April, AFH-C interviewed five stunered with Archeworks, +space, and Enlace dents, and there was so much interest in the Chicago, to building modular planters in an position that we were asked to host two inabandoned concrete and asphalt lot in Little terns. Typically, interns spend the summer Village. In 2011, the chapter installed giant working Monday through Thursday with their croquet wickets in a youth farm next to Washhost organization addressing social issues in ington Park’s Dyett High School. In 2012, a
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“vertical play farm” was added, showing the expansion of both the vision and impact of the project. Nick’s responsibilities included fundraising, grant research and writing, community outreach, expansion of the Activate! toolkit, volunteer coordination, and programming for this year’s installations on four vacant CDOT lots.
programs like Summer Links is an increasingly important part of our chapter’s activities. In addition to offering unique opportunities in fields with sometimes high barriers to entry, internships like these help to strengthen relationships between industry professionals, academic institutions, and community organizations. Intern Xander Wikstrom, in action at the Altgeld Gardens Neighborhood picnic.
People community recovery Intern Xander Wikstrom worked with Managing Director Betsy Williams and Co-Chair of the Board of Directors Tom Veed on a second project—the People for Community Recovery (PCR)-Save Altgeld Coalition. PCR is a leading environmental justice organization that partners with underrepresented communities to advocate for fair policy and environmental accountability. PCR, along with the Save Altgeld Coalition, is working to preserve and revitalize the Altgeld Gardens-Murray Homes Development in the south side of Chicago. The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is currently planning demolition of 600 of the nearly 2,000 residential units, with no plan for reinvestment or development. AFH-C has been asked to provide professional support and design facilitation for residents in their negotiations with CHA. Xander’s responsibilities included case study analysis, site audits, facilitation of community meetings, and GIS support and mapping.
Credits: Betsy Williams
the chapter interns Architecture for Humanity-Chicago is an important resource for students and recent graduates in planning, design, architecture, and advocacy. The support of paid internship
About the author: Bryn Namavani Bryn Namavari received her BA with honors in Art, with minors in history and religion/ philosophy from Monmouth College, and her M. Arch from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been involved in leadership and service-based organizations for over 18 years. Upon moving to Chicago in 2009, she joined the local Architecture for Humanity chapter because it aligned with her belief that if architecture is to progress and improve the general condition of humanity, then architects must not be confined by existing definitions of how to build. She has served on the Board of Directors for three years, first as the Co-Director of Special Programs, and currently as the Co-Chair of the Board.
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Headquarter news TIME FOR CHANGE
After 15 years of leadership, Architecture for Humanity co-founders, Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr are transitioning out of their roles at the organization making way for future growth and further development. It is now time for the organization to develop from organization to institution, growth we as chapter members we will be able to help drive.
Summer is coming to a close and the buzzing atmosphere at the AFH headquarters is starting to calm as the many fantastic interns are heading back to school. In the chapter outreach team we are sad to say goodbye to two great colleagues: Micah Burger and Daniel Maslan. Both guys have been working long hours contributing their amazing skills. We want to send them our greatest thanks and best of luck!
“It’s great to see something you started evolve into an institution. We are excited about the future of the organization and plan to continue lending support in whatever ways we can,” says Kate Stohr, Co-Founder, Architecture for Humanity. While Kate will leave the organization this month Cameron will continue to lead Architecture for Humanity until its 15th anniversary on April 6th, 2014. At Headquarters we are exited to embrace these big changes and move on into a new great chapter of Architecture for Humanity history.
....and welcome We have a new Chapter Outreach intern in the house! Tinna just arrived from Copenhagen and is dedicating six months to produce new materials for the chapters - including this Quarterly. Experienced within the fields of architecture, urban design and graphic design, and boasting a brand new Graduate degree in Urban Design from Aalborg University, Denmark, Tinna is happy and ready to take on new challenges at Architecture for Humanity.
Toolkits in process In the headquarters we are currently producing a number of ‘how to’ toolkits with advice and guidelines on everything from how to start a chapter to volunteer management, accounting, and fundraising. Our network of chapters constantly develop and it is important that we take advantage of the knowledge and experience that exists amongst us. The toolkits aim to collect and compress this knowledge and make it easily accessible to all of our chapter members.
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Remember to Send us your updates of events, elections and projects you are working on to be publiched in the December Issue.
New co-directors In Detroit, Miami and Lisbon new co-directors are in place. New boards Denver, New York and Seattle all welcome new boards. Thanks for taking on the responsibility. Up-coming elections The San Francisco chapter has their board election coming up in the near future.
what’s moving Burrows street moving into phase 2 The San Francisco Chapter has recently moved into phase 2 of the Burrows Street project in Portola, San Francisco. Led by Reaz Haque, a small team of chapter volunteers are working on adding street furniture, lighting, a living wall, and a mural to a former cul-de-sac. It is well on its way to becoming an attractive neighborhood pocket park. The Burrows Street project is a collaboration between the San Francisco Chapter and Headquarters - a model which we hope to develop further with future projects.
Karachi chapter reaches 1000 completed homes We just received amazing news from our Karachi Chapter. Following the devastating 2010 flooding in Pakistan, the chapter has been involved in comprehensive village reconstruction. This rebuild includes the construction of community spaces, sanitary services, wells and other essential infrastructure in addition to the crucial reconstruction of homes. At this point more than 1000 of the 1284 units sponsored by Karachi Relief Trust and Architecture for Humanity have been completed.
[UN]built and [UN]broken: We see a resilient city. What do you see? The “City of Resilience” is not a long lost Calvino tale, but the subject of a visions exhibition this fall hosted by the San Francisco Chapter as part of the “Architecture and the City Festival” put on by the AIA. Every Saturday during the month of September, the Chapter will host an exhibit of selected artworks that reflect the consideration of disasters as “harbingers of transformation.” The exhibition is taking place in the AFH headquarters on 695 Minna Street, San Francisco.
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Back to work from the ground up! After a few years hiatus, the Detroit Chapter of Architecture for Humanity is back on the streets with new leadership and a fresh list of projects! By Alexander Derdelakos
Winship Community Clean Up: The Detroit Chapter is once again active, engaging in the local community. Their first project was a great success, as neighbours and partner organizations got together and transformed two previously blighthed properties on July 15th. Credits: Noise Detroit, AFH Detroit Chapter
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A fresh start
The team partnered with The Winship Community Association to host the event and This past March marked an anniversary of inreached out to other local institutions, includactivity in the Detroit Chapter, so Garrett Jaing the Detroit Medical Center, Westminster cobs, Architecture for Humanity’s Outreach Church of Detroit, the city’s General Services Coordinator, put out a call for new leadership Department, and several local businesses amongst the list of one hundred and fifty volto acquire the equipment necessary for the unteer members. Several email threads later event and lunches for volunteers. The turnout our first meeting began a new era of local enwas great, as the gagement. It took partner organizaa little time for the A community cleanup was an avenue that met the tions joined neighgroup to emerge goals of community engagement with a quick turnbors able to lend a with a chapter around and a sense of accomplishment. hand. At the close plan, but they of the day, two have recently completed an initial project and previously blighted properties were in much gotten the ball rolling on several new efforts. better shape with grass cut, trees trimmed, trash removed and bushes pruned. Detroit has seen more than it’s fair share of tough times recently. From diminished city Future events services to municipal bankruptcy, blight to flight, depopulation to high vacancy the city With one project complete, Architecture for and region have changed greatly. These hardHumanity: Detroit is just getting started. The ships are daunting, but sometimes the supmembership has doubled since the restart port and encouragement from an engaged and the team is in discussions for several fucommunity are enough to get you back on ture projects, including: your feet and ready to fight another day. - Another clean up event later this summer - An entry for Park(ing) Day this fall The initial project - A possible recreation center renovation for next spring The new (re)founding members Jake Markut, - A nonprofit organization’s overhaul of a resi- Lisa Kulawczyk, Irsida Bejo and Alex Derdeladential building in Southwest Detroit kos wanted to start the chapter on a strong - New bylaws and structure for the Chapter footing with a readilyachievable project completed in a short time. Follow us on the chapter homepage and our A community cleanup was an avenue that met facebook page. the goals of community engagement with a quick turnaround and a sense of accomplishHappy Architecturing!! ment. It also served as an opportunity for the new volunteers to find their place in a chapter that was still establishing its mission.
About the author: Alex derdelakos Alex Derdelakos was raised in the Detroit Suburb of Livonia, MI. In 2009 Alex graduated from The Mies Van Der Rohe College of Architecture in Chicago with a B Arch. Alex has lived in New York City; Chicago; Florence, IT; currently resides in Detroit’s Rosedale Park neighborhood with his wife Susan and works in Livonia at Arconcepts Inc. as a project manager and graphic director.
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London chapter events For the London Chapter, events have become a cornerstone of our operation. They have been a way to raise our public profile, reach out to partners, and most importantly, engage teams of volunteers, who are the lifeblood of our organisation. By Beth Worth Auction for Japan In the aftermath of the Japan earthquake in March 2011, the London Chapter wanted to do something practical. We weren’t sending personnel to Sendai, but we could send funds. At our next monthly meet-up one volunteer shared photos he’d taken while living in Japan. They were the familiar cherry blossom and ancient shrine pictures but they captured the beauty of the country and became the inspiration for an exhibition and auction of photographs celebrating Japanese culture.
district, kindly offered to co-host an AFH week at their downstairs gallery space.
We wanted to involve people interactively and hold talks, workshops and fun activities. Our intent was to demonstrate the process of design from the very first glimmer of inspiration. We called the event ‘Ideas on a Postcard, please’ with this simple brief – ‘come up with an idea to make London a better place’. Graphic designer Risa Sano designed a postcard template for us which we distributed to art, architecture and design colleges, as Hotshoe Gallery donated their space for the well as professional practices and members event and Metroimaging agreed to print phoof the public. We received back and exhibtographs for free. We held an open call and reited about 250 postcards with wonderful and ceived hundreds sometimes wacky of submissions We wanted to involve people interactively and drawings and from around the hold talks, workshops and fun activities. Our inideas. world. Our Lontent was to demonstrate the process of design from don chapter volWe held the UK unteers worked the very first glimmer of inspiration. book launch for alongside graphic ‘Design Like You designers, photographers, and the Hotshoe Give a Damn 2’ at the opening night of ‘Ideas gallerists to mount the exhibition. Free sushi on a Postcard, please’ which was a memoand flowing wine helped make the auction rable evening enhanced by a specially made evening a big success and we were very proud rhubarb and Prosecco cocktail by urban farmto raise £7000 to send to San Francisco. er Hannah Claxton. We created a bit of a buzz in the press – with write-ups in the Architects’ Journal and Building Design, but most imporIdeas On a postcard, Please tantly we engaged a group of enthusiastic and The following year we wanted to create an talented volunteers who gave their all to makevent that would help raise our public profile ing it happen. See pictures from the event in the UK where Architecture for Humanity is here. not very well known outside a circle of design In additions, we invited Cameo Musgrave professionals. Studio 54, a small architecture to build something on site in the ‘Ideas on a practice based in London’s trendy Shoreditch Postcard’ exhibition space. She was inspired
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WOMAD 2012 Credits: Katherine McNeil
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by the ‘Love Architecture’ campaign launched by HQ and came up with the ‘Love Hut’, a wooden slatted structure. Visitors were asked to write ‘love’ messages on bright pink post-it notes and attach them to the slatted walls of the hut. We subsequently took the structure on the road where it made appearances at design festivals around London over the next few months.
WOMAD Outside the capital, we became involved with Tangentfield’s RAW (Roots Architecture Workshop) at WOMAD (World Music and Dance Festival) which takes place every summer in the countryside near Bristol. In 2012, trustees Katherine McNeil and Alasdair Dixon set up
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camp and led a group of local helpers in the design and construction of a music stage that was featured on the final night of the festival. This year, Tangentfield handed over the running of RAW to a consortium of architect charities, including AFH, with the task of designing an outdoor theatre space. Katherine and Alasdair enlisted a team of our dedicated volunteers (seventeen in all) who workshopped the project in advance. Their concept was to create a fun and whimsical interactive space with a retro vibe using recycled materials. Branded ‘The Playroom’, they conceived a giant scale version of an old fashioned living room with oversized armchairs, a towering floor lamp with fringed shade and a vintage television set that became the stage. Open mic and perfor-
mances were listed in the ‘TV Guide’, a chalk board was set up as a sign up list for the day.
DESIGN, SOURCE, BUILD In March of this year, we held a call for volunteers to ‘Design, Source, Build’ a public installation project for Clerkenwell Design Week 2013 – a three day festival in the centre of London every May. The previous year AFH had stepped in at the last minute to support an exhibitor by setting up the Love Hut and an ad hoc exhibition at their showroom. This year we were invited to be part of ‘Clerkenwell Presents’ – a programme of projects designed by ‘cutting edge’ practices. They agreed to give us four outdoor sites where we could erect public space structures that would say something about Architecture for Humanity.
out where they could with the Remakery and many have continued to be involved in the final interior design stage. During the design and construction of the four huts, made with pallet bases and scaffolding beams, each took on a unique personality. The ‘Water Hut’ donned a copper pipe cloud and demonstrated how we waste water. The ‘Green Hut’ added open shelving to hold a cascade of edible plants offering an urban growing opportunity. A donation of Virgin hot air balloon material became the basis for the ‘Textile Hut’, which
On an unseasonably cold and wet evening last March over fifty volunteers turned up at the Royal Festival Hall, London chapter’s unofficial meeting place, in response to our call. Cameo Musgrave and I led the project and explained the brief to design and build four structures – each reflecting the spirit and ethos of Architecture for Humanity in some way. Last year’s ‘Love Hut’ became the basic model on which to explore different themes and variations. The volunteers formed themselves in four groups and over the following weeks developed their ideas, exchanging thoughts via Facebook pages and evening and weekend meetings. We had just under eight weeks to create the structures which we called ‘The Huts’ and limited our resources to found and recycled materials. We staged project construction in the Brixton Remakery, another key London chapter project developing concurrently. The Remakery is a reuse and recycle centre in a converted underground garage below a local authority apartment building. For the past three years we have been involved in designing the conversion, due to open this September. In the meantime, though, it became the headquarters for our Clerkenwell Design Week ‘Huts’ project. The Remakery offered us the space in which to build the huts, and the use of tools and materials. In exchange volunteers helped
Volunteers working on the ’Huts’ in the Remakery for the public installation project ‘Design, Source, Build’ for the Clerkenwell Design Week 2013. Credits: Pete Landers
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explored the use of recycled fabric within an architectural context. The ‘Remakery Hut’ was a montage of old windows forming a wall - designed in homage to the Brixton Remakery.
of whom are recent architecture and design graduates looking for meaningful projects to get involved with. A number of our volunteers signed up to core team roles (the less glamorous but important administration jobs) and are on board for the next big event.
Cameo and I received a small grant from Thousands of visitors took part in Clerkenwell Vodafone’s World of Difference programme Design Week. Volunteers remained on the which allowed us ground during the to work the long festival ‘manning’ The legacy of the events organised by London hours required to the huts, despite chapter is a volunteer force of talented dedicated make an event terrible weather, people, many of whom are recent architect and successful. We talking to mem- design graduates looking for meaningful projects plan to explore bers of the public to get involved with. other grant fundand spreading the ing for future word about Archievents. Next on the drawing board is a bigger tecture for Humanity. The Huts were cited as public installation project ‘Watch this space’. one of the top events to see during the festival.
ABOUT THE LONDON CHAPTER The legacy of the events organised by the London Chapter is an awakened volunteer force of talented, dedicated people, many
Volunteer meeting during the ‘Design, Source, Build’ project. Credits: Pete Landers
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Reused Virgin hot air balloon material as the basis for the Textile hut, during the ‘Design, Source, Build’ project for the Clerkenwell Design Week 2013. Credits: Pete Landers
About the author: BETH WORTH Beth Worth gained a BA in English and Journalism from New York University before moving to the UK. Her career began in broadcasting as a radio and television producer and deputy commissioning editor, drama, at Channel 4. She went on to study fine art at Central St. Martins and interior design at Chelsea College of Art, and began volunteering at AFH London in 2008, where she is now on the board of trustees. AFH projects include ‘For Japan’, Ideas on a Postcard’ and ‘the Huts’.
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Live, Make, and Engage Design competitions as a tool for community engagement: I design buildings, draw construction details, and am becoming versed in building code. Architects are valued for this knowledge and skill, but the profession has a lot more to offer than just bricks and mortar. By Bradley Cooper I recently organized an architecture ideas fields with the intention to impact the built environment and build better communities, competition called LIVE MAKE in collaboraor even more simply, to make a difference. tion with the Cincinnati Chapter of the AIA and Great architecture does this by engaging peothe OvertheRhine Brewery District Communiple and positivety Urban Redevelopment Corpora- ...buildings take a while to get built and architec- ly affecting their tion (BDCURC). ture’s influence can be passive. An alternate, but lives. However, Nothing proposed more direct, approach to improving our built en- buildings take a would be built. vironment is to practice architecture through com- while to get built and architecture’s The ideas were influence can be meant to further munity engagement. passive. An alternate, but more direct, apchange already occurring in the city. What proach to improving our built environment is follows is a brief description of the process, to practice architecture through community which was new to me, and some advice for engagement. While this can take many forms, others with similar goals. the foundation of community engagement Many architects and designers enter their The ‘LIVE MAKE’ site is located in a neighborhood of Cincinnati and includes a structureand undeveloped land. The site was recently designated as an Urban Mix zoning area in order to encourage a return of manufacturing and living Credits: AIA Cincinnati
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Competitions as Community engagement Five key areas
Find out what is already happening. What are other groups working on, could you join or supplement their efforts? You will likely find others with similar interests, connect with them. The Brewery District Masterplan informed the programming and vision for the competition. We also compared our competition to others by surveying previous processes.
1. Define your interests What are your priorities? Engagement should not be selfish, but your involvement will have a greater impact if it is fueled by your passions and interests. My own interests lay in creating the program for the competition and in researching OTR. We needed to work with the BDCURC’s vision and plans, and our own interests enhanced those already defined goals.
2. Do your homework
3. Get involved and Build Relationships
Attend events or join a group. Most importantly, participate. I became involved in the AIA Cincinnati Committee on Design, which led to the LIVE MAKE Competition. Talking to speakers at events or reaching out to community leaders helped the competition evolve and connected me to a richer network of partners. Be sincere and share what you’d like to do, especially with friends and colleagues. Others will help out if they see someone passionately leading the way.
4. Create and Innovate Focus 10 % of innovative programming for the competition. This will add value to the community and help promote change. Architecture competitions have been around for a long time. To move beyond just a design competition, we focused our attention on two events. The LIVE MAKE Launch introduced residents to the competition through historical maps, graphics, and historic brewery tours. We also held Community Choice Voting Events, which gave Cincinnati residents the chance to vote in person on the projects that where the best for the neighborhood.
5. Present and promote Share your work, but show it, don’t just tell it. Throughout the process, you need to produce in order to get your ideas into someone else’s head. We began with a presentation of research and ideas shared with the BDCURC and community leaders. Next we designed the competition’s identity while applying for grants and soliciting sponsors. All of these exercises where crystallized in the competition brief. Promotion takes as much time as design. If you have sincere relationships, your partners will help spread the word, and your presentation or final product will help promote change.
relies on relationshipbuilding for the sake of moving a neighborhood towards change.
competition garnered international participation with over seventyfive submissions. Hundreds attended the Community Choice Events and LIVE MAKE Launch, many of whom were Overtherhine (OTR) was once one of the not architects and designers. In addition, the densest cities outside of Manhattan, and the OTR is hosting a Brewery District of OTR was both We wanted to show residents a variety of possibil- Maker Faire this a residential and ities and let them decide the qualities they wanted fall, and I’ve spoken to numerous manufacturing in their built environment. This is where an ideas individuals about center. The BDCURC’s mission competition developed into a means for communi- the competition in relation to their is to promote and ty engagement. development help redevelop plans. Perhaps most importantly, the experithat spirit and diversity of activity. The comence led us to help organize Cincinnati’s anpetition program aligned with these goals, nual Architecture Festival. calling for the development of spaces for living and making, colocating both within the In summary, designers and architects are same structures. Our call for entries also empoised to promote and advance change in phasized the new buildings’ interaction with their communities because of our creative OTR’s historic fabric, distinct for containing ability to redefine and solve problems. Follow the largest district of Italianate architecture in your design process and take the next step the United States. using architecture as community engagement. LIVE MAKE is funded in part by a grant from The competition anticipated a continued inThe Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. flux of new residents to the neighborhood in Bank Foundation, the AIA Ohio Advocacy order to promote the goals and vision outlined Award, the AIA Cincinnati Bettman Prize, and in the Brewery District Masterplan. We wantthe Brewery District Community Urban Redeed to show residents a variety of possibilities velopment Corporation. and let them decide the qualities they wanted in their built environment. This is where an ideas competition developed into a means for community engagement. If OTR’s built environment (or any neighborhood’s) is to evolve, architecture and developers need to involve and engage residents in its redevelopment, and vice versa. The first problem we had to solve was, ‘How do we do this?’ If you want to get involved in your own way, you may be thinking the same thing. I’ve outlined five key areas to focus on, which helped lead to a great outcome. The
About the author: Bradley Cooper Bradley Cooper received his BS in Architecture at the University of Cincinnati, and his M.Arch from the University of Michigan. Through practice, travel, and training, his passion and appreciation for the value of great design grew into the motivation to forward the cultural agency of architecture. Brad currently works for GBBN Architects in Cincinnati while thoroughly enjoying the city’s built environment. He is also coorganizing its architecture festival, ArchiNATI.
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The grand prize winning proposal â€œMixed use confrontationâ€? by Oliver Terrisse, Paris.
Student volunteers for the Architecture for Humanity Denver work tirelessly to build an interactive display for TEDx MileHigh in June 2013. They turned hundreds of used boxes into a inhabitable cardboard pin cushion of ideas on how design can improve communities. Credits: Katie Donahue
Students: a Segment of AfH Chapter Volunteers By Katie Donahue
The greatest struggle of any nonprofit organization is the amassing of resources; time and money. For Architecture for Humanity chapters, specifically, the component of time relies heavily on your volunteer force, an-always fluctuating pool of capacity.
About the author: Katie Donahue Katie Donahue received her BA in Business Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M. Arch from the University of Colorado-Denver where she was Vice President of the AIAS local chapter. She first joined AFH-Denver as a student liaison in 2010, and worked intensively on a design-build earthbag school in Basa, Nepal. She joined the AFH-Denver Board of Directors in 2012.
I personally joined AFH in 2010 in my first semester of my M.Arch program, and over the course of the past three years, began to understand a specific segment of the volunteers: students.
Likelihood to Volunteer For any new chapter, one of the first objectives is seeking out a healthy pool of volunteers that are willing and able to contribute their services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that those in degree programs might be increasingly likely to volunteer over time because, â€œIndividuals with higher levels of education engaged in volunteer activities at higher rates than did those with less education. Among persons age 25 and over, 28.7 percent of those with some college or an associates degree volunteered and 42.2 percent of college graduates volunteered, compared with 17.3 percent of high school graduates and 8.8 percent of those with less than a high school diplomaâ€?(1). For emerging chapters, universities are ripe for developing a volunteer pool. Students, in general, are also less likely to have as many family priorities and career commitments as professionals. In addition, students are often eager to get hands-on experience they donâ€™t usually acquire in the classroom and can benefit, in some cases, from acquiring Intern Development Program hours on the path to architecture licensure. (1) Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor. Volunteering in the United States, 2012. 22 Feb, 2013. < h t t p : / / w w w. b l s . g o v / news.release/volun.nr0. htm>
Assets of Student Volunteers As a conduit between AFH-Denver and the University of Colorado, I quickly saw the energy that comes with this younger group of vol-
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unteers. They often brought fresh ideas and a different perspective to projects, as well as resilience. And in a quickly moving world of technology, student volunteers were and are likely to know the latest software, including modelling programs like Revit and Rhino, or rendering applications like 3D Studio Max, Maya, and the Adobe suite. Along with the growth of digital fabrication and video renderings, student volunteers are likely to contribute skills, or the ability to quickly learn these skills, to projects.
Accessing Student Volunteers What I also learned about volunteer recruitment was the importance of penetrating certain communities. I was heavily involved in student government and tapped into certain groups of students that were driven by the desire to do good or to just get their hands dirty on local projects. It was easy to get the message out about upcoming chapter projects or events because I spent day in and day out with this group of over 300 students. For this generation of students, even email was too slow - they communicated primarily through facebook group posts and shared statuses and tweets and retweets. A surprisingly valuable mode of communication was print - getting something colorful and tangible to students by putting it somewhere overt, whether on their computer or directly in their hand. In fact, the most valuable means of recruiting volunteers was direct communication. The likelihood of convincing someone to attend an event or volunteer for a project was astronomically higher when I made a direct connection with a student in person, by email, by
facebook message, or by call or text. This was true no matter how brief the dialog. And when I discovered that I couldnâ€™t connect with over 300 students individually, I started to tap student leaders to be the conduit for spreading news in various niches of the school. Soon, we started seeing high student turn-out, and they were so willing and able to get involved, that for awhile, the majority of our chapter participation was from these volunteers.
scopes of work and it becomes imperative to have talented people from pre-design through construction phases. Rather unintentionally, it also provides mentorship within the organization.
What has become most clear between students and the chapter is the importance of developing relationships within our own communities - both with those we aim to help and Diversity and Expertise Needed those who volunteer. As our young chapter The best volunteer teams, however, are made continues to grow, it will become increasingly up of a diverse mix of talent and abilities. The important that our board is immersed in and flip side to a large communicating pool of energetic The likelihood of convincing someone to attend an effectively with an student volun- event or volunteer for a project was astronomically even larger group teers is the risk higher when I made a direct connection with a stu- who understands of not enough dent in person, by email, by facebook message, or the humanitariknow-how and an needs of our by call or text. This was true no matter how brief neighborhoods practical experience that comes the dialog. as well as the cawith registered architects and veteran project pacities and desires of the potential volunteers. For they are the ones who really make managers. The most productive and innovadesign solutions come to life. tive design comes from collaboration between both volunteer groups. This diversity of expertise becomes increasingly advantageous as chapter projects take on increasingly large
The inhabitable cardboard pin cushion at the TEDx exhibit. Credits: Unknow passer-by
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In the Pursuit of Transparency & Better Communication The New York Chapter is the largest Architecture for humanity chapter with over one thousand volunteers. With a board of directors and project coordinators, dozens of projects, and an army of volunteers tackling different tasks for our chapter, we’re having a hard time keeping track of, well, everything... By Rachel Straobinsky Basecamp - a management tool Eager to know what was going on, who was doing what, and how we could communicate and collaborate better, we began using Basecamp, a cloudbased project management software. The board decided to invest funds in this tool as an experiment to improve efficiency. What started out as a trial has evolved into our communication system for the entire chapter.
format. Basecamp also has task lists, calendars, etc., which are categorized by project to help us stay organized and connected to one another. Regular volunteers view only the projects they’re involved in, while directors can access every project on the account.
Basecamp has definitely changed the way we operate as a chapter. Our work has become much more streamlined and transparent. The directors can easily track everything ArchiHere’s how it works tecture for Humanity New York does. We still use other tools to aid us with file and contact Within the platform we organize ourselves management, as based on projects, and invite Basecamp has definitely changed the way we oper- well as the Open team members ate as a chapter. Our work has become much more Architecture Network. But in terms accordingly. All of streamlined and transparent. of a communicaour communication and project management tool, Basecamp tion then goes through Basecamp. The prohas brought our operations to the next level, gram can link to individual email accounts, so ultimately allowing us to do what we want to that team members can forward/reply to all do most – provide humanitarian design serposts directly from their preferred platform. vices to our local area. They can also post comments and documents for review, and Basecamp will send an email to each individual either daily or weekly to let you know all of the recent activity in digest
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Why we use basecamp 1. Transparency
It helps us know what’s going on with any project at any given time – active or archived.
2. Communication It allows everyone to be on the same platform.
3. Team Building It puts a face to a name. Everyone has a profile on the site. We have so many active volunteers that we’re grateful for, and we want to know who they are and have relationships with them.
4. Collaboration Teams have the opportunity to post updates, ask questions, upload documents for review, etc., and team members and directors can review, comment, and have a dialogue about it without having to meet face to face..
5. Accountability When we assign tasks, everyone on the team sees the tasklist. It provides an added layer of accountability for all, so that we remember that our contribution to the team impacts the project as well as one another.
ABOUT BASECAMP Basecamp is a webbased projectmanagement tool, launched in 2004 by 37signals. The program has an easy to use interface with multiple functions that enable user groups stay connected throughout a project. The tool costs from $20/month (ability to manage 10 projects at a time) $ 150/month (unlimited projects). Visit basecamp for free trial.
About the author: Rachel straobinsky Rachel Starobinsky is a Design Strategist in New York City. She received her BFA in Interior Design from NY School of Interior Design and her MPS in Design Management from Pratt Institute. A believer that design can impact people’s lives in amazing ways, it has been very important for her to give back to her community through Architecture for Humanity. She started out as a volunteer and is currently the Managing Director for the New York chapter.
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High ligh Over the past few months Architecture for Humanity has had the privilege of partnering with chapters during multiple events. These opportunities arise because of the organizations breadth of accomplishments and quickly become an exceptional source of outreach for all parties involved. These past events have proved to be a wonderful success for both building relationships and growing the awareness of the organization as a whole.
Dwell on design
Dwell on design The annual event is old news to local Angeleno designers & design enthusiasts, and though this past year’s trade show was not my first time, it sure was my first experience. By Rita Saikali Carter Architecture for Humanity has had a booth at disaster can spur innovation. A pleasure to Dwell on Design (DOD) in the past, but this meet in person, Kate also helped me get inyear we were graciously assigned two booths spired about fundraising and spreading the at the annual trade show. The first was the traword. ditional Architecture for Humanity booth, featuring great project examples, models, postI’m a huge proponent of personal interaction cards, and the recently published Design Like and providing a consistent message of our You Give A Damn : 2, of which we sold numission. While reaching out to potential partmerous copies. Thirteen volunteers generousners, donors, or clients by sending out emails ly donated their time over the course of the or making phone calls can sometimes yield weekend to help us spread the word to show results, there’s no comparison to the in-pervisitors. The secson (and charm ond booth was a ... I believe that being present at events such as potential) of face new feature, sim- Dwell on Design and the AIA convention, is a great to face converply called “Architool that all chapters should try to take advantage of sations. While we tect is In”. Fifteen can and should generous local whenever possible. toot our own designers and horn via newsletarchitects volunteered their time in two hour ters and social media, personal engagement shifts to consult with homeowners interested and word of mouth remain the most powerful in remodeling ideas or ground-up constructools to maintain an active and interested nettion. Judging from the great feedback from work. This is why I believe that being present both homeowners and designers, the booth at events such as Dwell on Design and the was a great success. AIA convention, is a great tool that all chapters should try to take advantage of whenever Participation in the event gave us a great possible. amount of exposure -exposure we need after re-forming as a chapter this year. We met deAs the Los Angeles chapter leadership works signers, educators, media personnel, repreto wrap up this year, we are eager to create sentatives of other professional organizations, a 2014 calendar year full of new support, diand non-profit consultants, helping to expand verse projects, and intriguing partnerships. our network and showcase the chapter. The We wish all the other chapters a successful potential for partnerships, volunteers, and end of year, and hope we can continue to projects has grown tenfold. We were even learn from one another in this great network of flattered to be included on Angeleno Living’s generous people. blog post featuring the highlights of Dwell on Design 2013. Another personal highlight of the weekend was listening Kate Stohr’s discussion on how
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Architects & designers are busy giving productive & inspirational consultations at #DOD2013. Credits:Kristen Schlott
About the author: Rita saikali carter Designer by day, philanthropist by night; Rita combines her love for architecture and design with her passion for community service, youth education, and leadership development. Rita is a Design Leader at HMC Architects- recipient of the 2013 Presidentâ€™s Award in Community Service - and the Managing Director at Architecture for Humanity Los Angeles [AFH:LA]. She received a Masters of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University GSAPP in May 2008, and a Bachelors in Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona in 2005.
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Learning from the AIA convention The title of this year’s AIA National Convention was Building Leaders, so it was no surprise to see so much activity surrounding humanitarian and public interest designers. Amid a call from former President Clinton for a new form of leadership, the AIA answered with its own actionable response. By Garrett Jacobs The annual event, hosted this year in Denver, featured the usual industry and professional concerns, while highlighted exceptional leaders from around the profession, including emerging designers, female designers (though not enough) and trans-disciplinary leaders. The AIA also accepted a broader variety of proposals this year, providing a venue for those in pro-bono design to discuss their experiences.
To paraphrase John Peterson, the founder of Public Architecture, it felt great to be at the the first AIA convention with so much talk about public interest design. This energy ranged from the publication of the 2011 Latrobe Prize results, which documented the interest and understanding of pro-bono services in the field, to an energetic keynote speech given by AFH co-founder Cameron Sinclair.
Remarkably two of the three keynote speakers While we definitely felt the progressive energy at the convention were working with humanin our small corner of the room, it remains to itarian business models. On Thursday mornbe seen how the AIA will continue to acknowling Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, edge the fact that 41% of architecture graddiscussed their buy-a-pair, give-a-pair conuates are womcept. Though en but make up The sheer enormity of the conference, housed in a tradi- based on the only 20% of li- tional convention factory setting, proved taxing day-to- simple idea of censed profes- day, but it was exciting to see multiple panels, discussions, giving as you sionals, or adreceive, Myand keynotes devoted to our emerging perspective. dress the lack coskie’s comof young and pany has been emerging leadership amongst the national wildly successful and he presented its model committee. Whatever the case, these issues in an accessible manner to a new scale of aubuzzed around the crowds after talks and afdience. ter hours in bars. In a typical passionate fasion, Cameron addressed an audience of a few thousand peoThe sheer enormity of the conference, housed ple on Architecture for Humanity’s activity in a traditional convention factory setting, over the past 15 years. With a quirky energy proved taxing day-to-day, but it was exciting and packed slides, Cameron was able to conto see multiple panels, discussions, and keyvey the vast breadth of AFH accomplishments notes devoted to our emerging perspective. through our meaningful partnerships around
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the globe. He also addressed a concern from architects, about the organization taking away potential work by noting how AFH hires architects of record for our projects, creating jobs for local designers. He spoke about how we are empowering people through training community leadership opportunities, and post disaster resiliency planning. Cameron also discussed metrics of success for humanitarian work, including a crime rate comparison in the vicinity of one of the Football for Hope projects in Khayelitsha, South Africa. He argued that we need to raise the value of design by reframing the conversation to focus on those effected by design. He then creatively narrated a few delightful client experiences to drive the message home. Cameron did not directly address his own leadership techniques but he displayed the utter importance of developing relationships with community members, eventually empowering them to become leaders themselves. The final keynote speaker, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, focused on the quali-
ties of a good leader and how his experiences have led to his success. Powell charismatically shared funny and inspiring stories of his time in various administrations, leading soldiers and civilians alike. It was an apt finale to a conference focused on building leaders. Though a tieback to the profession would have been nice, it was refreshing to have two and half non-architects (Cameron only gets a half for his pre-AFH life) talking to a largely traditional group of professionals. Many other informal events focused on the practice of public interest design. Brian Bell, Roberta Feldman, Sergio Palleroni, and David Perkes presented the results of the 2011 Latrobe Prize research, a collection of statistics and new categorizations to help establish the baseline for public interest design. On Friday afternoon John Peterson and AFH Director Eric Cesal spoke in an enlightening panel, moderated by dean Bruce Lindsey of Washington University in St. Louis, on the similarities and differences between Public Architecture (PA) and Architecture for Humanity (AFH). One of the many points to come out of the
Architects & designers are busy giving productive & inspirational consultations at #DOD2013. Credits: Claudeen Pierre
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About the author: Garrett Jacobs Garrett’s wanderlust through the architectural profession has led him to Architecture for Humanity where he has found a home working with amazing designers from around the globe to develop the Chapter Network. He takes himself way too seriously, but considerers himself fortunate in his currant position. “The futures here, let’s do something about it; is it lunchtime yet?”
lively chat was that PA, mainly through the 1% effort, is engaging firms to devote more efforts to those in need while acting as a matchmaker for non-profit organizations in North America. AFH on the other hand is engaging individuals and organizations by facilitating the process as the boots on the ground in marginalized communities across the globe. On Thursday night the AIA hosted an Architects in Advocacy and Public Service reception where AIA CEO Robert Ivy gave a brief talk about the importance of organizations like AFH & PA. Following the reception AFH threw a party for chapter members and friends in the top of a clock tower on downtown Denver’s newly revived 16th Street Mall. Featuring the guest musician Terra Noami, a full bar, food, and restricted-ish access (by way of a rickety spiral staircase), the party rocked until 11 PM, with buzzing conversation of passionate designers from around the globe. Even Peter Steinbrueck, one of a small list of licensed architects to run for city mayor, made an ap-
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pearance and struck a pose under the bell. Aside from the honor of eight staff and chapter leaders speaking, we were also given a booth on the expo floor, staffed by many members of the Denver Chapter. While we may have been a little out of place amongst the giant window and façade displays, it was nice to have a home base at the convention. I particlarly enjoyed my weekly planning chats leading up to the event with Lindsay Moor, Cynthia Fishman, Katie Donahue and Matt Joiner. I am thankful to have had such a team not only to help set up and run the booth, but also discuss, at length, many aspects of the organization. The Chicago Chapter has a lot to live up to next year! Thankfully we now have a wonderful wall system designed, built, and donated by Molo Design to display our work and communicate our mission and values to the AIA community. All the pieces really came together allowing all of us to articulate our roles and visions for the organization itself and the profession at large.
John Peterson and AFH Director Eric Cesal spoke in an enlightening panel, moderated by dean Bruce Lindsey of Washington University in St. Louis Credits: Garrett Jacobs
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The mid-year forum Begun as a call to action from former Denver Chapter Coordinator Matthew Joiner, a mid-year chapter forum was held this year in conjunction with the AIA national convention. Summary by Micah Burger The occassion seemed a natural time for chapter leaders to gather, discuss ideas, and ruminate over the direction and communication for the network. The mid-year forum, intended to be a bi-annual event, will set the tone for the annual chapter forum during Design Like You Give A Damn (DLYGAD):Live! in November. By complementing the DLYGAD:Live! conference which falls in the second half of the year, the mid-year chapter forum will have more of a domestic focus with agenda items chosen by the host chapter. It will be an opportunity for chapters of different sizes, structures, and focuses to come together and share ideas about key issues. At this year’s inaugural session, leaders agreed that more coordination amongst chapters is important, there was also great interest for meeting more regularly to share experiences and understand where the skills, expertise, and knowledge are located within each chapter. With greater connectivity, chapters could grow and operate more efficiently with shared resources. In addition to greater collaboration, there was a desire for more communication between Architecture for Humanity headquarters and its chapter network. It was suggested that headquarters send out more regular updates to chapters about everything - from campaigns, fundraising, and competitions, to more nuts and bolts issues. Chapter leaders also felt it would be helpful to have a more comprehensive understanding of who works at head-
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quarters, what their roles are, and the structure of the organization. Garrett Jacobs, headquarter’s Outreach Coordinator, proceeded to talk about chapter trainings and infrastructural resources with the goal of transferring the knowledge that headquarters has learned about projects to the chapter network. Other chapter news was discussed including the Chicago Chapter’s milestone hiring a part time managing director with funds awarded from a grant. This fits into AFH’s long-term goal of establishing paid positions for managing directors in the larger chapters as part of a sustainable business. One goal under such a model might be a feefor-service approach, affirming the value of chapter work. In order to begin measuring the success of our work, members would need to record hours spent as well as create other means of measuring client payoff. Several forum participants stressed that demonstrating the amount of time volunteers put into a project would help assign value to a project. The New York Chapter, for instance, has quarterly reports with time sheets and the ability for project coordinators to easily track donations. It was also mentioned that a balance must be reached between the formality of logging hours and the more informal, ‘boots on the ground’ approach that draws so many volunteers to Architecture for Humanity. It is this informality that appeals to many, particularly as a departure from monotonous office work. Architecture for Humanity’s former communi-
cation guru, Karl Johnson, entered the conversation to urge chapter members to communicate to one another through Twitter and other social media. Notes of enthusiasm and optimism about current events and activites keep people informed, engaged, and prepared to represent the organization. Captioned photographs work particularly well. Karl also noted that people and potential donors (not that they are not people as well) want to know what we’re doing and it’s important that we get the word out. The final topic of the mid-year forum covered the DLYGAD:Live! conference at Architecture for Humanity’s headquarters in November. The plan is to structure this year’s DLYGAD Chapter Forum around training sessions, and chapter leaders were asked for their input on
topics they would like to see covered. Suggested topics included Kickstarter and social networking, training, fundraising, grant writing, outreach and marketing, goal setting, and record keeping, development as well. Other suggestions included a communications component to make sure chapters and headquarters are speaking a similar language and a session on transitioning chapter leadership and the preserving of institutional memory. The Chapter Forum was a great success, and everyone exited the session with great energy and laughter. It was the start of many future communications, coordination, and cooperation throughout the Chapter Network - a hearty thanks to everyone who participated. See you next year in Chicago!
The Mid-year forum framed a lively debate between our Chapters. Credits: Garrett Jacobs
About the author: Micah Burger Micah is a designer with training in architecture and economics. He is interested in design research, analysis, and human behavior and is committed to finding innovative solutions to social, economic and environmental problems through the design process. Micah received his M.Arch from U.C. Berkeley and his BA in economics from U.C. Santa Cruz.
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opportunities Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship pairs early career architects with community development organizations for first-hand training and experience in sustainable community design work. For three years, the fellows work in the community, forging local ties and expanding the capacity of their host organizations to create sustainable, affordable housing for people of low-income in underserved communities. The Fellowship is based on the core principles of community-based design practices, design excellence and sustainability. Fellows engage residents, local leaders, advocates and government officials in developing communi-
7th international Sparks Design Awards Seven x Seven is calling for Entries! Let the World see you and join the thousands of designers, manufacturers and students for the seventh anual global design event Spark Awards. The competition offer seven separate design competitions. Seven different live juries of senior designers, educators and experts will judge the competitions this October. To learn more, visit www.sparkawards.com and click on the competition you are interested in. Standard Deadline: 15 September, 2013 Late & Final Deadline: 10 October, 2013
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ty-based plans that reflect residentsâ€™ needs and desires. Building and site designs are geared toward improving economic, social, cultural, health and environmental outcomes. Fellows integrate Enterpriseâ€™s Green Communities Criteria into their projects, which is a cost-effective Project Management Guide for creating healthy and safe affordable housing developments. Since 2000, the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship has paired 40 fellows and host organizations. Together they have created or preserved more than 7,000 affordable homes, 43 community facilities, and nine community master plans.
Acumen Human-Centered Design For Social Innovation Course Acumen and IDEO.org recently partnered to offer a free five-week course on human-centered design for social innovation. Working in teams of 2 to 6, groups explored the human-centered design process by applying it to a real world design challenge. Acumen and IDEO.org supplied readings, case studies and videos for teams to study during the process.
The purpose of the course was to equip participants with new design and research skills that would allow them to be more intentional about facing and solving current challenges. Acumen offers a number of free courses that could be relevant for your chapter.
Burners without borders ‘Burners without Borders’ is a community led grassroots group formed as a response to Hurricane Katrina. Focusing on bringing collaboration, creativity and fun to their projects, the group encourages innovative, civic participation that creates positive change locally. The organization offers the opportunity to get involved in existing projects and supports new ideas.
green Apple day of service Last year Green Apple Day of Service counted more than 1,250 service projects in 49 countries on every continent around the world to make our schools healthier, more sustainable places to learn. This year’s Green Apple Day of Service will take place on September 28th. Visit mygreenapple.org to pledge your support, share your commitment, and connect with the Center for Green Schools about news and upcoming resources.
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...More opportunities Manilla Light the world Event Our brilliant chapter coordinator, Illiac, in Manilla, Philippines would like to establish a Global Lighting Week. Where instead of shutting off the lights for one hour we will teach the world to light up their homes forever. The idea being to create software for AFH to download on any smart phone to disperse the instructions and capture the process of installing lights in dwellings across the globe. When the solar bottle (night) light is installed, you take a picture with a smartphone and it will automatically geotag itself in the world. The chapter member can then upload photos and videos on respective websites uniting the network in one amazing act. Lets get together to plan this event! Go to the Liter of Light homepage to learn more about the technology that enables you to make light with recycled plastic bottles.
Architecture for humanity Partners with Presidio graduate school We recently submitted a proposal to the Presidio Graduate School for the creation of a sustainable business plan for the chapter network. After hearing the good news of the accepted proposal we will shortly begin working with a team of MBA students to develop a sustainable business plan. While we put our minds together to strategize the most balanced busi-
ness model for more autonomous chapters, we will simultaneously be working on a proposal for chapter network improvements, additions, and further fluid means of communication and representation. The business plan will be completed in time for the new year.
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th Annual HUMANITARIAN DESIGN & RESILIENCY CONFERENCE
DESIGN LIKE YOU GIVE A DAMN: LIVE! November 7th + 8th 2013 at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco, California
Register today at architectureforhumanity.org/dlygadlive13
This year the Chapter Forum will take place on Saturday Nov. 9th at our headquarters in San Francisco. The all day event will include a panel discussion on how we are implementing resiliency programs, training sessions, and a communal review of chapter toolkits and manuals. We will set up a call with chapter leaders in the next couple of weeks to further discuss the content of the event.
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