Who wouldn’t love to be a CEO?
CEO meaning Chief Eternal Optimist, of course.
That’s how Cameron Sinclair describes his position at Architecture for Humanity. 11 years ago Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair founded Architecture for Humanity; an innovative solution to capture the talent and intellect of the design world focused on sustainable building.
With a network exceeding “40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, [Architecture for Humanity] brings design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.”
This enterprise taps into the tangible skills of professionals in the architectural and design fields to use their expertise in a meaningful way. Every year, their dedicated work has manifest itself in over 10,000 built structures for needy populations, while engaging an additional 50,000 individuals in advocacy, training, and outreach.
By working with local communities, “aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations” Architecture for Humanity “has channel[ed] resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally.”
Some of Architecture for Humanity’s thoughtful, sustainable designs have changed communities around the world by “providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services, bringing safe shelter to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations, rebuilding community and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas, [and] mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements.”
In addition to building and initiating sustainable design in needy communities, Architecture for Humanity has created the online Open Architecture Network, where “architects, designers, builders and their clients… share architectural plans and drawings-including CAD files. All plans are shared through an open-source model and can be freely downloaded.”
While each Architecture for Humanity project is uniquely memorable in itself, one of Kate Stohr’s favorite experiences was working with the community in Biloxi, Mississippi to complete Model Homes after Hurricane Katrina. This program allowed families affected by Hurricane Katrina to partner with designers and architects to use “the latest in materials research, disaster mitigation and sustainable building techniques…to help set the bar for new construction in the area…By rebuilding responsible homes in a devastated community, families have a real base for contributing to the reestablishment of their community, rather than just getting by until the next disaster.”
Architecture for Humanity thrives on building and thinking in a sustainable manner. By integrating the importance and appreciation of design with local community needs, they are able to “engage all stakeholders in the design process.” Continually working to both build and rebuild, Architecture for Humanity can be found constructing schools in Haiti to building community centers in Rwanda.
No matter where its impact is felt, Architecture for Humanity’s immense network of design professionals has opened their resources, expertise, and hearts to help those in need.
Kate explains that “We learn by doing. We know the value of sharing success stories and lessons learned-our own as well as those of others. Design is the ultimate renewable resource.”
Thanks Kate, for building a sustainable future!
Please visit http://architectureforhumanity.org to learn more.
(Architecture for Humanity is dedicated “to building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design”)