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architecture for humanity

Recap Chapter forum 2013

HQ

disaster respond

Chapter uarterly Vol 3 December 2013

Remember

Chapter webinar 12.17.2013

London Chapter

‘For Japan’


Made possible by: Layout/coordinator: Tinna Lykke Madsen Editors/coordinators: Garrett Jacobs, Inari Virkkala Feature Authors: Beth Worth, London Chapter Karl Johnson, San Francisco Chapter Inari Virkkala, Chapter Outreach Team Tinna Lykke Madsen, Chapter Outreach Team Garrett Jacobs, Outreach Coordinator A great thanks to all the people and chapters who contributed with articles, photos and information. Contact Architecture for Humanity T. +1.415.963.3511 F. +1.415.963.3520 GARRETTJACOBS@ARCHITECTUREFORHUMANITY.ORG @afh_chapters

Thanks for sharing / Photo Credits p. 01 p. 02 p. 07 p. 11 p. 12 p. 14 p. 17 p. 18 p. 19 p. 20 p. 21 p. 22

Illac Diaz Inari Virkkala Yuko Okamura London Chapter London Chapter Jana Ašenbrennerová Jana Ašenbrennerová Auckland Chapter Kelly Holley Portugal Chapter Li Andersson Auckland Chapter

Liter of Light Chapter forum 2013 Graphics, Disaster Response Fundraising ‘For Japan’ Fundraising ‘For Japan’ Chapter forum 2013 Chapter forum 2013 Reclaimed Christmas Forest Houston Chapter Recap Meeting Space Kouk khleang Youth Center Reclaimed Christmas Forest

Follow Afh

@archforhumanity


contents 12

quickies

04 15 years Celebration 05 Chapter Numbers 11 Webinar 20 Network News 23 Thoughts from a volunteer

Features

06 When Disaster Strikes 08 London Chapter Fundraiser ‘For Japan’ 12 Chapter Forum ‘13 16 Editorial

08


Years 1-5: Inspiration, vision, startup “disaster displaces 3.5 m people”

OH NO!

Those people won’t sustain. can I design to ease the pain?

AFH CELEBRATING 15 YEARS does!

It is with great pride that we kick-off the celebration of our 15th anniversary this holiday season.

H NO!

AFH does!

Those people won’t sustain. can I design to ease the pain?

AFH does!

Let's design together and build to last forever! ?

“Great”

Keep an together eye onand twitter and Let's design build to last forever! facebook the comming Thurs-

days where we break down the ? “Great” phases of our 15 years in a series of four commics to mark our Quindecennial of engaging and helping communities around the world. Spread Architecture for Humanity’s inspiring message to your community and remember to visit our website 15years.org.

SPREAD THE WORD

Let's de build t


Montgomery Montgomery chapter This November our network expanded as Malin Ulmar got the ball rolling in Montgomery, Alabama. Their initial project is an outdoor classroom and chicken coup. The design build project will be an element of the master planning for the city. If you are having trouble finding Montgomery on our map look East towards the coast of Africa! we’ll get Montgomery back to a more accurate longitude shortly!

Help the Ottawa chapter After a long period of inactivity our Ottawa Chapter has officially become inactive. We still see a great volunteer interest in the area, we hope to have the chapter back on the map in the near future. Contact Garrett Jacobs if you are interested in helping Ottawa get back on its feet!

Volunteer/member statistics To help facilitate growth we need to understand how the network is developing, to this point we are now running monthly reports to generate chapter numbers and growth rates.

more than

95%

-1 Member

+1002

Portland

Members

57%

San 7% francisco

Sydney

chapter growth November 13 Congratulations to our Portland, San Francisco, New York, Sydney and Manila Chapters. These chapters have experienced the largest growth of members and/or volunteers over the last couple of months.

67

%

5%

13.430

People are now signed up on the chapter network Volunteers

New york

Volunteers

Hello montgomery!

5 % 72 San francisco 4 % 41 Manila %

77 27

CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013 I 5


editorial In November, for the first time on the job I had the privilege of being in the same room with over 30 chapter leaders. It was a high point of my year. Spending most of the time in front of a screen sending countless emails, Skyping for days and coordinating activity across the network just doesn’t compare to being in the same room, sharing the energy of a passionate dedicated group of leaders. With everything we have been developing together this past year I can now say that the key to it all – communication. The real challenge is external messaging. Since our shift within the architectural profession is not directly visual our messaging needs to be clear and calculated. After much discussion over the DLYGAD weekend it is clear that we need to develop metrics and establish best practices for quantifying our local, national, and international impact. This is in an effort to clarify what we do for laymen and possible funders. Additionally, in order to gain stronger footing within the profession itself we need to place our efforts within a historical context. Major changes in architecture have been largely visual over the past few centuries. About 250 years ago architecture shifted, thanks to the likes of Ledoux and Boullée, from a classical set of orders to a representational tool of communication. Since then, a Chicago Architect said something about form and function, a couple living in Pennsylvania liked anomalies and uncertainties, but the design of buildings as symbols and icons of the activities within (and those who fund them) has largely drifted to the point of, well, iconicity. The initial shift over two centuries ago happened alongside the momentum of social change and how people transfer information. From monarch to republic, information began to come laterally from freely speaking peers. It was only natural that a new form of built environment was needed to speak this social language. But the process of architecture has not varied much over the years, instead continuing on the same economically driven paths.

6 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013

In the last couple of decades architecture has again been subtly disrupted. This time it is the process that is being questioned. With the current speed and transfer of open sourced information, we now comprehend the long-term effects of our professional choices, from environmental harm to socioeconomic disparagement of labor in the industry. We have asked ourselves: Is this traditional method of architecting still relevant? Can architecture help more? Well, we in the Chapter Network have answered it through action. We gather and give our time to those without the benefit of architecture as a voice, using design as a tool to communicate the importance of equality. But it remains the exception to the rule, and we still need day jobs. We are not attempting to change the end result of architecture as a good functional building, but we are changing the way design is involved in people’s lives, so that the good building is one that is loved and maintained. This is a difficult action to communicate, but the combination of numbers, words, and compelling images of our clients will help develop a language relevant to the markets in which we operate. During his closing remarks AFH Board Chair and former chapter volunteer Matt Charney poignantly captured this energy felt those attending the Chapter Forum:

AFH defines our generation of architects and designers, when Kate and Cameron started the organization 15 years ago I don’t think that they had that in mind, I don’t think that they had that intention of starting a movement. But that’s what happened… The idea of AFH was grassroots, it was enthusiastic, it was sexy... As Cameron put it “the idea alone is no longer sexy.” Grassroots seat of our pants mentality just doesn’t cut it any more... Some of the terms I heard today were: knowing the strengths and weaknesses and limitations of professional volunteers, grant-writing how to’s, risk analysis toolkits and communicating measurable


AFH members at the night of the 4th DLYGAD. Remeber to visit our Youtube page where you can find videos from the DLYGAD conference and Chapter Forum

impacts. And what that all adds up to is a sustainable business model for delivering social impact design. And that is the new sexy at AFH. To develop this new “sexy” we need to treat our efforts like a second year studio project after learning the meaning of Gesamtkunstwerk; you know when you designed a typeface to match the angles of your structure. Putting every activity and plan up to a mission test will ensure its relevance to our ideals. We have largely done this through advocacy, but we need to imbue the belief of design as an inclusive tool for social change into the way we get projects, hold events, give recognition, fundraise, structure the internal leadership… This is why I am excited to hear the New York Chapter’s forthcoming inclusive method of project selection. I’ve been sworn to secrecy for the moment, but it’s an inclusive method bringing the community into the project procurement process, reinforcing our ideal of inclusion to a new area. This year the Chapter Forum was a little different than in the past. Leaders from around the network shared their experiences and techniques through engaging presentations, all of which are available on Youtube. In an effort to capture the momentum from the gathering we

launched the chapter leaders Facebook group, increasing communication and will release the Presidio Graduate School’s sustainable network business plan in January. It’s an exciting time for the growth of the network; I am thrilled to be working with so many dedicated, passionate designers for a common good. My goal for this upcoming year is to begin implementing the given recommendations, increasing the communications throughout the network, and celebrating our 15 years of being at the forefront of progressive architecture together. Effectively communicating the impact of our work and time spent will open more opportunities and funding for the network, increasing our collaborative capacity. Acting as a fluid network we can achieve a global resonance empowering millions through design. This next year we should leverage my position’s new responsibility within Headquarters as communication manager. The more you tell me the easier I can disseminate it to the whole organizational network. Remember this is just the beginning of the next phase, stewarding the voice we’ve developed will successfully sustain the growth of the movement. I invite you to read on to hear how others are contributing to the efforts.

Happy New Year!

Outreach Coordinator, Garrett Jacobs

CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013 I 7


when disaster strikes

the same day that we gathered for the 4th DLYGAD:live to discuss how to “Design for a more resilient world”, the worst typhoon ever recorded at landfall hit the Philippines, leaving great parts of the island nation in complete ruin. By Tinna Lykke Madsen While typhoon Haiyan was raging in the philippines and the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco was buzzing with activity, half the HQ staff was nowhere to be seen - they were all gathered in a small conference room in a distant corner of the gallery, where a swiftly written sticky note announced: “Occupied - Typhoon Disaster Response”.

action, it is a crucial time to remember our area of expertise in order to have the biggest impact. At Architecture for Humanity we have specialized in ‘building back better’ by contributing to a holistic, contextual rebuild.

In practice this means that we are not an active player in the emergency relief phase immediately after a disaster. At this stage, actions Most people involved in Architecture for Huin the affected area are focused on survival manity know that our organization defines and meeting basic needs such as food, water, itself as a ‘last shelter and medresponder’ which At Architecture for Humanity we have specialized icine. The durais something we in ‘building back better’, in other words to contrib- tion of this initial have been since phase mainly ute to a holistic, contextual rebuild. the very begindepends on the ning. So why the hectic activity on the day socioeconomic advancement of the affected of the disaster? What was going on behind country, its preparedness, accessibility to rethose glass walls during DLYGAD:live, what sources and the magnitude of the disaster. is Architecture for Humanity’s plan of action when responding to a disaster and how will When responding to disasters Architecture for our participation for the extensive Philippines Humanity typically becomes visible once the rebuild look? To answer these questions the basic needs have been met and emergency Chapter Outreach Team has been bugging relief moves into reconstruction. It is within the ‘Reconstruction & Resilience Studio’ also this stage of recovery we become a valuable known as the ‘Disaster Team’ at HQ to learn expert and it is here we wish to focus our efmore about Architecture for Humanity’s apforts. proach to disaster. This doesn’t mean that we are passively waiting to play our part, in fact the early months Why ‘Last Responders’? following a disaster are highly critical to our It had been a little over a month since Tyefforts in the reconstruction phase. Why? phoon Haiyan hit the Philippines when I be‘Cash is Key’ - our funds will define what we gan writing this article. We now know that it are able to do, but more importantly any suchas displaced more than 3,5 m people (This cessful project builds on through assessment number had dropped to 921.212 by Dec 13th) and understanding of the local situation. and caused over 4400 deaths1. Though these horrifying numbers incite to take immediate

8 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013


Credits: Yuko Okamura

TRAINING

EMERGENCY 2 TO 3 WEEKS

RELIEF UP TO 3 MONTHS

ASSESSMENTS

RECOVERY 3+ YEARS

PROGRAM IDENTIFICATION

PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

ADVOCACY & PARTNERSHIP BUILDING FUNDRAISING PREPAREDNESS Preparedness research Creating public, private, and non-profit partnership SAP and Chapter training advocacy

RESPONSE PHASE Campaign building Emergency awareness Generating resources Understanding scope

What we do? It is no secret that the majority of outsiders know Architecture for Humanity for our post-disaster efforts. Until now our Organization has responded to more than 15 natural and man made disasters, making us highly influential and experienced within disaster response work and resiliency efforts. Our Reconstruction & Resiliency studio is currently managing four programs including the Haiti Rebuilding Program, Tohoku Rebuilding Program (Japan), Hurricane Sandy Reconstruction Program (New York), Resilient Oklahoma Program and most recently our National Resiliency Program. It is important to keep in mind that disaster response is context dependent, and no post-disaster stricken area is the same. It takes time to know where the most critical rebuilding needs are located. There is no pre-packaged solution to this course of action. Every time we respond to a disaster we follow a non-linear organic process: Immediately after a disaster our Headquarters Disaster Response Team (R&R studio) monitors the situation and begins fundraising. Tracking back to the day of DLYGAD, this was exactly what was going on behind the closed doors of the conference room. Subsequently we turn to our connections in the area - in the case of the Philippines, the Manila Chapter to begin early assessment and figuring out the local infrastructure:

COMMUNICATIONS PHASE Establishing local presence Establishing ourselves as a resource Responding to requests Targeting local resources Strategic planning Identifying where our resources are most needed

• • • •

RECONSTRUCTION PHASE Community empowerment Small business support Chapter development Program development Addressing resiliency

SIZE AND SCOPE OF DISASTER AND RECOVERY EFFORTS

PREPAREDNESS ONGOING

Who are the stakeholders? Which NGO’s are present in the area? Who are the governmental contacts? What are our options for finding funding partners?

Once the situation within a disaster hit area has stabilized 1 to 2 key people from the R&R studio will travel to the area and assist our local collaborators. It is key to identify the right funders and programs. The first 7 to 9 months are typically spent assessing the situation and determining our efforts moving forward. After we have established ourselves locally we can begin the actual reconstruction. As previously stated, the scale and nature of our efforts will be dependent on our assessments and the amount of funding we secured. Looking at the Philippines specifically, the response could be a full blown, large scale disaster response like the Haiti Rebuilding Center, a small more community based program like Biloxi Model Homes or a re-grant directly to the Manila chapter. Our R&R team and Manila chapter are currently formulating a collaborative response to Typhoon Hayian in order to assist in the longterm recovery of the region in the months and years ahead following the challenges of the current relief phase.

CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013 I 9


Are you resilient?

The R&R studio, San Francisco

Devastating events such as Haiyan should incite us to take a look at our own preparedness: Resiliency is becoming the new black in our circles, and with good reason; every $1 spent on disaster preparedness saves $7 in post-disaster economic losses2. As a chapter of Architecture for Humanity we encourage you to actively engage in making your community more resilient; What is your city doing to prepare for potential disasters and how can you contribute to a response platform? In the event of a disaster in your area we depend on the insight of our local chapters. Take a look at what 4 of our chapter are currently doing here.

The Reconstruction and Resiliency studio team manages programs and projects related to resiliency, long-term recovery, and post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction.

Eric Cesal Studio Director

Michael Steiner, Senior Program Manager

How to fundraise Would you like to fundraise but don’t know how to get started? Have a look at our fundraising toolkit. Sources:

Hiromi Tabei Program Coordinator

Audrey Galo, Program Coordinator

1. www.staff.architectureforhumanity.org/ files/OCHA_HAIYAN-INFO-14NOV. v3.pdf 2. World Bank and United States Geological Yuko Okamura Design fellow

Chapter Involvement It is wonderful to see a great interest amongst chapter members to get involved in the rebuilding efforts in the Philippines. We are nevertheless strong advocates of local rebuilding and we believe that working alongside local architects and community members, including our Manila Chapter, gives us the best opportunity to implement long-term resilient and sustainable solutions. Our greatest need at the moment is the help to raise funds. OCHA estimate that $301 M is needed for the Philippines rebuild. So far only 14.4 % of that total has been funded1.

10 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013

Some of our chapters have already taken initiative and actively supported the concerted efforts in the Philippines, if your chapter is interested in helping we hope you can find inspiration in the London Chapter’s fundraiser ‘For Japan’ featured on the following pages. You can also connect with our Manila chapter coordinators to coordinate network efforts. We also encourage you to participate in our Webinar on December 17th where we will have the opportunity to go deeper into discussions about disaster response, resiliency and preparedness.


architecture for humanity

HOLIDAY CHAPTER

WEBINAR

17th December 3-5 pm (pacific time zone)

WITH PRESENTATIONS: Illac Diaz, Manila Chapter Current situation in Manila

Garrett and Sherry-Lea, HQ 15 years anniversary campaign

Beth Worth, London Chapter London’s fundraising campaign for Japan

Open Discussion: Think global, act local Hosted by R&R studio

Hosted in Webex: if you would like to join us, please contact inarivirkkala@architectureforhumanity.org CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013 I 11


the London chapter ‘For Japan’ Fundraiser

A mag 9 earthquake shook Japan on 11 March 2011. It set off a 30 foot tsunami and caused a nuclear meltdown. Though all natural disasters are unforgiving and devastating, public sympathy for Japan was overwhelming. By Beth Worth In the days and weeks following, first responders were busy on the ground . Architecture for Humanity set up a regional office in Sendai, the capital of the disaster- hit Tohoku region. Here in the UK we wanted to do something to help. A month later Cameron Sinclair had a breakfast meeting with the London chapter of Architecture for Humanity. He gave me the incentive to volunteer and lead a fund raiser. One of the positive aspects of our chapter is that we meet regularly. At our April meetup, Micah Sarut spoke about his time living and working in Japan. He showed us photos: lovely pictures of cherry blossoms in the spring, the Torii Gates, temples and gardens. The images celebrated the beauty and culture of Japan. These images inspired a fundraising photography exhibition which was called ‘For Japan’. Our first port of call was Metro Imaging, one of London’s top professional printers. They offered to print for us for free. They suggested we hold an open call for submissions so we’d have a wider selection of photos to exhibit. They also recommended that we find a gallery willing to host us rather than a less formal venue like a pub or café. It took a lot of phone calls and emails before we had any luck. Hotshoe Gallery in Clerken-

12 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013

well - which publishes an international photography magazine and mounts numerous exhibitions during the year - agreed to give us a week. The only free slot in their diary was in August, a relatively dead time in London with people away on summer holidays. Even though we wanted to do something sooner, it worked out for the best since there was so much to organize. Hotshoe’s assistant director, Gregory Barter, was hugely helpful. He placed an ad in Hotshoe magazine calling for submissions of photographs that evoked the spirit and culture of Japan. He figured out how we might do the auction. His knowledge of photography was invaluable. We also had great support from Risa Sano, a talented graphic designer, who created the exhibition branding and designed our poster. It was serendipity that we met photographer Shiho Kito, who lent her sensitive eye to the project. (Shiho has continued her involvement with Architecture for Humanity and recently photographed AfH work in Sendai.) Submissions started to trickle in – but in the end we received over 250 images from all over the world. Some were from leading photographers, many from emerging professionals and talented amateurs. It was a mix of traditional and uber modern, beautiful and kitsch, lyrical and edgy, in color and in black and white. We selected 100 photographs for the exhibition


Event frame

Time

overview

4

It took months to organize

Volunteer

commitment /week +20 x 10 Hours

Spend AFH London £1,000

£384

The biggest expense was picture frames

In kind donations food // drink // photographic printing // gallery // paper stock // space // advertising // poster printing // graphic design

£5,000

Exhibition raised

$ 7,635.69

Credits: London Chapter


The exhibition branding poster was created by Graphic designer Risa Sano. Credits: London Chapter

which were printed on 8x10 glossy paper. Early on we made the decision not to feature disaster images in the exhibition, but we did devote one room in the gallery to the earth-

quake/tsunami with a selection of photographs and a video. Hiromi Tabei at HQ kept us informed about AfH initiatives in Tohoku province. We pieced together snippets of iphone footage to tell the positive narrative of building the Hikado Marketplace in Motoyoshi - the first completed AfH post disaster reconstruction project. We also went a bit origami. We festooned the outside of the gallery located in a grey narrow street with garlands of paper birds and placed little clusters around the inside space. We hung a slip of paper next to each photograph and visitors could bid on the price they were willing to pay starting at £50. The party atmosphere was helped by our event team who persuaded one of London’s big sushi chains to deliver a mountain of sushi and a wine merchant to send over cases of chardonnay. We also had a donation of Japanese beer (and at one point Alasdair and Simon ran out to buy more). There was a strict time limit and at the stroke of 9pm the highest bidders won the photographs.

A trail of paper cranes guided people to the HotShoe gallery on the day of the fundraiser Credits: London Chapter

14 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013

Every single photo was sold. We made $7,000 on that night, which we were able to send to HQ for our efforts in Sendai.


Timeline

March 11th 2011 •

April 2011 •

• •

The London Chapter meet with Cameron Sinclair who reports on AfH efforts to set up a regional office in Sendai, the capital of the disaster struck Tohoku region. Decide to organise a fundraising event for Japan. The idea for an exhibition and sale of photographs is formulated. Search for printing companies leads to Metroimaging, who agree to support the project with free printing.

June 2011 • • •

The first submission trickle in and by the deadline we receive over 250 images. We decide to select 100 to exhibit. We try to find a framing company willing to donate and in the end buy frames from an online company offering a discounted price. We send out hundreds of press releases to get publicity for the event.

August 2nd-5th 2011 •

The exhibition set up team hang the framed pictures. The opening night/auction sees the sale of every photograph raising over $7,000 for our efforts in Japan.

A magnitude 9 earthquake erupts off the coast of Japan and sets off a 30 foot tsunami triggering a meltdown at the Fukishima nuclear plant. The catastrophic sequence of events is devastating.

May 2011 • •

Looking for a gallery eventually yields results when Hotshoe Gallery say they’ll host an AfH exhibition. Date set for August. Hotshoe sponsor an ad in their magazine calling for submissions of photographs depicting Japanese themes. Deadline for submissions is set for June. We also advertise the open call on the AfH website and through social media, on re-title and other sites. Press releases, publicity and marketing material written. Risa Sano, graphic designer, creates the project logo ‘for Japan’.

July 2011 •

• • • • •

We compile an invitation list, distribute A5 flyers, make follow up phone calls and promote the event on the AfH website, Twitter and Facebook. The curatorial team make the final selection. Four people spend an entire day framing the selected images. Meanwhile we source origami for our paper trail leading to the gallery. We find a photographer to document the opening night auction. We arrange for copies of Design Like You Give a a Damn to be displayed. We liaise with Hiromi at HQ and edit a video using iPhone footage taken by a volunteer on the ground at Motoyoshi and tell the story of building the Hikado Marketplace. The events team score a donation from ‘Feng Sushi’ who agree to donate sushi. A wine company donates 3 cases of Chardonnay and a Japnese beer company donates 3 cases of Asahi.


Chapter forum ‘13 for all of you who didn’t get a chance to experience this year’s chapter forum (and for those who would like to relive it!), Karl Bob, a dedicated AFH alumni, has agreed to let us bring an except of his blog post capturing the forum atmosphere. We highly recommend you to swing by his blog “kbobblog - An uncovered narrative of people and their environments growing together”, where you can read the complete post ‘Are we enough’ along with other intriguing scribblings. By Karl Johnson I wouldn’t call myself an expert networker; I don’t quite meet that profile. Timidity could be brushed into the “introversion” bin, but I suspect the attitude depends more, if not completely, on the nature of the crowd. Rubbing elbows with ascendant businesspeople is an act carried out with great deliberation; chatting among a conference of compassionate designfolk – not so difficult. It’s a good sign when you feel comfortable in a crowd of strangers – as though something about shared values makes them all familiar, or family. Certainly the “warm fuzzy” is a sought-after bonus of the charmingly intimate Design Like You Give A Damn conference held each November in San Francisco. A full day of panel discussions and open mics on healthy urban-

ization, resilience, sustainable materials and community building goes down smooth with accompanying audience nods, fervent note scribbling and emphatic hashtagging. While DLYGAD (or “Dillygad,” as AFHers mercifully abbreviate it) Live! presented issues plaguing the built environment in united states and the wider world, it was on the subsequent day that leaders from many of the localized, volunteer-based AFH Chapters assembled in the AFH headquarters to teach one another how to organize to combat these threats to sustainable communities of every size.

“Social Resilience” Following a panel presentation of the six chapter strong (and growing) Resiliency Program, attendees broke to refill their mugs and


mingle. I found a couple of participants on the upper floor, at the precipice of the stairwell “What did you think of the conference yesterday?” It was good, they agreed. Really good – resilience, however much it’s a buzzword right now, truly demands a coordinated effort from cities around the world to share best practices and reduce redundancy. The keynote by Michael Berkowitz introduced a pretty big carrot for this operational shift, in the form of resilience grant funding from the Rockefeller Foundation: the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. (The first third were just announced Monday, December 2; of those, 11 hail from the US, but only New York overlaps with an AFH Chapter initiative.) Each of the DLYGAD panels (Sustainable vs Resilient Materials; Population Shock; Active Cities; Resilient Cities) had their moments of insight and inspiration, the colleagues noted, though they could have spoken more to actionable steps for the audience. That said, a striking pattern emerged from the panels. “…That ‘resilience’ is foremost a social issue.” Communities could prepare for unknown futures by neighbors strengthening neighbors; in recovery, the most critical element is the psychological and social support we can provide for one another.

Weaving a wisdom Internet Introductions launched the second part of the Chapter Forum – the “may only be interesting to leaders” sessions, described below, but there appeared to be very little drop-off. I jot down places and names as I caught them– where names were indecipherable I marked ellipses in the palm-sized Moleskine. People had truly converged here from around the world, each listing their origin in an appropriate accent: New York–San Francisco–Portland– Finland–London–San Diego–Santa Fe–Los Angeles–DC–Chicago–Vancouver–Seattle– New Haven–Beijing–Jordan–Bogota–Phoenix–Shanghai–Haiti–Istanbul–Copenhagen. More impressive than strangers united by mission introducing their work and needs was that in very many cases their chapter was selfmade and self-supported. In the first years of nonprofit chapter organizing, the financial model is not necessarily standing on two feet; while such a model would urge development forward, the people among us at the forum were demonstrating just what could be done on the thinnest of shoestrings. In many cases, sheer will was a nascent chapter’s only fuel source. Just this past Spring, AFH interviewed many those presenting their work here. Ricardo foreshadowed Bogota’s rapid ascent as a regional authority; I spotted Beth, who’d described London’s provocative experiential manifestos at Clerkenwell Design Week; members from Portland could have expounded on their ex-

Credits: Jana Ašenbrennerová


haustive research and timely collaborations; others who couldn’t make it to San Francisco had joined the live feed online forum. The sessions led with contributions from AFH Global headquarters, followed by seminars by certain chapters, and then guests: Garrett and Tinna from HQ intro’ed the forthcoming Chapter Toolkits on fundraising, accounting, volunteer management, etc., to accompany 2013’s extremely insightful as-yet unnamed quarterly publication; AFH Global Disaster Team Director Eric Cesal, in his distinctive brusque-yet-sincere fashion, laid out the steps to establishing successful programs, from mission tests to partner stewardship; Members from Chicago Chapter, a group that recently won funding to hire full-time administrators, discussed the intricacies and diplomacies of grant writing;

Vessels for change I didn’t need to wait until the end of the afternoon to realize that this meeting was groundbreaking. As someone who’s attended all four, 2013’s Chapter Forum was easily the most informative, engaging, and energizing. This year, determination, wisdom and momentum seemed to have reached critical mass. How would the participants walk away from it? Business cards, and soon thereafter notional emails, would be exchanged. I imagine a goal of the Forum was using voices of chapter leaders themselves to paint a picture both attractive and attainable for new members, and connect on issues that, for better or worse, had been commonly and independently faced by the veteran groups. The obstacles of formation and retention; the third-year-in meditations on growth and physical construction; have been welcomed here with open arms.

“Clear out the chairs,” the PGS facilitators had instructed us, and make room to form one circle: a “gift circle.” Doubtless the Graduate Rachel from New York Chapter reviewed Schoolers carried a mental arsenal of team their practices in leaderbuilding exercises, but ship transition, which in- I didn’t need to wait until the end nothing could match a gift cluding a moment where of the afternoon to realize that this circle’s simplicity: each she brandished a swollen meeting was groundbreaking person reveals a problem 3-inch binder of manuals, they’re facing, or a skill set procedures and notes that the whole room they’re lacking, and hands go up from those urged be Xeroxed; who could tackle it. For nearly every issue there was someone that not only offered help, Public Architecture, headquartered just down but already knew the dimensions of a soluthe street, sent Amy to draw parallels between tion; the Network was proving its functionality the volunteer- and project-based Chapters in real-time. and the PubArch’s services for both those pursuits (they dovetail quite nicely); In that moment nothing could get in the way Students from the Presidio Graduate School wrapped up the day with a review of their Chapters Strategic Plan in-progress.

18 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013

of this group. With luck, the two-stroke conference / forum had generated enough social glue to carry the movement forward.


Credits: Jana AĹĄenbrennerovĂĄ


what’s moving Auckland chapter Reclaim’s christmas “The Reclaimed Christmas Forest” was opened in Aotea Square on the December 9, 2013 to remind everyone of the importance of recycling this Christmas and demonstrate what can be achieved through design collaboration. Architecture for Humanity Auckland volunteers helped with the aesthetic design, led by Co-Director Piet Ubels. Over 5000 recyclable plastic milk and soft drink bottles have grown into the Reclaimed Christ-

mas Forest; a centerpiece seven meter tall Christmas tree surrounded by a dozen two meter trees surrounding. This festive celebration of recyclables is a part of THE EDGE’s “Unwrapping Christmas”. The first installation of its kind to be constructed in New Zealand, the Reclaimed Christmas Forest aims to make people more aware of what they are throwing away this Christmas and holiday period. Credits:Auckland Chapter

The process was sparked by an idea a few months back and with a significant amount of good will, voluntary hours, minds, people power and robust design discussions and development we bring you the final product – a new and innovative Christmas Forest that stands proud in the Heart of Auckland City. The initiative was inspired by Reclaim, and constructed by Architecture for Humanity, SKM, Engineers Without Borders, Reclaim and Brian Perry Civil. Over 5,000 recyclable plastic bottles were supplied by Frucor, VISY, Fonterra and Reclaim. Construction materials were supplied by Reclaim, Panda Visuals and ISL Industrial. Lighting and design were supplied by Oceania and Marcus McShane. Unwrapping Christmas is presented by THE EDGE, Regional Facilities Auckland, with support from the ASB Community Trust.

network news

20 I CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013


Credits: Kelly Holley

Houston Pechacucha Communities are at risk of being left behind in the midst of rapid urbanization in Houston. Architecture for Humanity Houston invited local professionals to present their work on engaging communities in an effort to support their capacity building in what was the return of PechaKucha Night - Houston. This event also acted as our chapter’s launch event, so we encouraged all new members and volunteers to participate. PechaKucha Night is a forum that takes place in cities all over the world as a mix of show and tell, open mic night, and happy hour. It has become an event for people to share their ideas, explore cultures, and showcase their designs. The Atrium, at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston, was live with the energy of social knowl-

edge for community resilience. On November 13th presenters shared how this can happen through art, housing, educational outreach, urban agriculture, ecological impacts and community engagement.

ter mission and team dynamic, along with local support from, the University of Houston Alumni Association, AIA Houston, and cofounding member, Emmanuel Oni (currently studying at Parsons in New York).

More on the presenters here.

Over 180 collective committee volunteer hours contributed to the event coordination, logistics, outreach and graphics. In the months and weeks leading up to the event, Architecture for Humanity Houston grew from 2 to 24 members, 37 to 130 volunteers, 0 to 100 likes, 0 to 75 followers and 184 people who give a damn about Houston’s communities rsvp’d through facebook and eventbrite. The challenge now - to keep Houston connected, collaborate, convergant, and ignited for regenerative design for our region.

Earlier this year, in the fourth largest city in the United States, board members Robin Lourie (co-founding member & Board Chair) and Cedric Douglas, Director of Special Events, began the planning for this free event with an idea between alums of the University of Houston. The idea took flight, as did our core board team, members and volunteers who donated their professional skills and resources to facilitate the event and grow the chapter. PechaKucha Night Houston has helped to define our local chap-

PechaKucha Night presenters: Susan Rogers, Michelle Jordan, Joe Icet, Carroll Parrott Blue, Joseph Altshuler, Danny Marc Samuels FAIA and guest Jason Flemming, Jay Blazek Crossley, Shannon Bryant, Gwen Fedrick, Anton Sinkewich, Katy Akiss, Roland von Kurnatowski III, Dean Daderko PechaKucha Night team committee members and volunteers: Akila Raman, Aldo Leyva, Anne Gonzalez Lara, Alison Mandeville, Angela Palmer, April Ward, Audrey Vilain, Bradley Hirdes, Cedric Douglas, Dakota Cooley, DJ Soul One, Kim Raborn, Jake Donaldson, Jon Cordingley, Katherine Sargent Cairoli, Keith Holley, Luis Segundo, Obie Diaz, Robin Lourie, Shelly Pottorf, Stacey Bock PechaKucha Night in kind sponsors: Karbach Brewing Co., University of Houston School of Architecture Alumni Association; PechaKucha Night poster: Dakota Cooley; PechaKucha Night Written by: April Ward

CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013 I 21


Lisbon Chapter CHANGES TITLE & HOSTS WORKSHOP As we have multiple dedicated volunteers shattered all over the country our Lisbon Chapter has been renamed - “Architecture for Humanity Portugal.” One of the Portugal Chapter projects is the transformation of an abandoned space in the low income neighborhood of Graça (Lisbon) into a ‘Multi generational & Multi-Ethnic Meeting Space’. The site is located in a city block surrounded by two very busy streets. The intervention will create a more protected public space for the local community. The project was integrated in the workshop MEDS Reaction Lx, from 03 to 18 August 2013, and the team was formed by Arch. Salete Cravo (AfH.Lx coordinator and project manager), Arch. Susana Cardigos (AfH.Lx project leader) and 5 international participants/students. The involvement of the community was a key factor in the design of the final proposal. They were very interested in the project, and eager to be a part of it. The Portugal Chapter is currently waiting for a Municipality license, and hopes to complete the project by January 14th 2014.

Remember to Send us your updates of events, elections and projects you are working on to be publiched in the March Issue.

Credits:Portugal Chapter

Musings from seattle As the end of 2013 approaches, Architecture for Humanity Seattle is gearing up for the next year of design advocacy with a focus on literacy and community. This quarter, Seattle AfH collaborated with Makerhaus, Arcade, IDSA, Teague, and Architects Without Borders Seattle to host Think it. Make it. Build it. The design-build challenge that brought together high-school students and designers to develop a “Little Free Library” kit. Resulting work will be on display at the upcoming Arcade Collective Works event and built prototypes will be included in the larger Little Free Library design/build competition next year.

Chapter volunteer Inari Virkkala Inari Virkkala joined the chapter outreach team this November and she sure has been shaking thing up over the last months! Inari is primarily involved with the strategic development plan for the chapter network, and she can take all the credit for our upcoming Chapter Webinar! Inari is originally from Finland where she graduated as an architect in 2012. Throughout her studies she has had a strong focus on stainability. Her greatest accomplishment so far is building a Youth Center for two local NGOs in Cambodia, which was completed a few months ago. Next spring she will travel back to Cambodia to work with the NGO Building Trust International. Inari is eager to stay in touch with the AFH network. After January you can find her via www.inarivirkkala.com!


Thoughts from a HQ volunteer By Inari Virkkala

My main question to which I embark on a yearlong journey to answer - How to work as a social impact designer in an economically sustainable way? We are all aware of the great impacts that social and human centric design can have on poverty alleviation, crime reduction, community engagement and ecological efficiency. But as customers benefitting from the work aren’t usually the ones with the money, it forms a big question of where to find funding for conducting this kind of design work? Finding an answer to the question above is a challenge I have posed for myself for the coming year. I will do this with the “ethnographic method” of working in four different design practices for periods of a few months to understand how they operate. Besides the office work I will conduct interviews with other designers in the field. The research is funded with a grant from the Finnish furniture retailer Asko’s foundation. First of these working periods of 2-4 months is happening now at Architecture for Humanity HQ, where I am working with the Outreach Coordinator Garrett and volunteer Tinna as a chapter outreach volunteer. Appropriately, my task here is to help develop the development plan for the chapter network in order for the chapters to reach greater economic independence. Fortunately my time here overlaps with the work of 4 MBA students from the Presidio Graduate School who are also working towards the same goals. I am very happy to be learning from their discoveries and conclusions. One great article that the Presidio team shared with us was about Nonprofit Funding Models

(Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2009) which states the core problem very well: “...running a nonprofit is generally more complicated than running a comparable size for-profit business. When a for-profit business finds a way to create value for a customer, it has generally found its source of revenue; the customer pays for the value. ... When a nonprofit finds a way to create value for a beneficiary (for example, integrating a prisoner back into society or saving an endangered species), it has not identified its economic engine. That is a separate step.” It might seem lofty but identifying that economic engine is the goal I hope to achieve by the end of 2014. Through sharing our experience we can figure out what this model will look like. Have any insights? Want to help develop them? Reach out and let’s continue the work together!

Working on the Kouk Khleang Youth Center construction site with Mr. Srey and Chum Chuon. Credits: Li Andersson

CHAPTER QUARTERLY i December 2013 I 23


architecture for humanity

Happy holidays

Winter Chapter Quarterly  

This is the third issue of the Architecture for Humanity Chapter Network publication. The goal of this compilation is to act as a voice of t...

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