March 2012: Building On

March 2012: Building On

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Mar 16, 2012
  • comments

Montrouis school in Haiti officially opened on Leap Day

It is an unfortunate but unavoidable reality that disasters happen. What doesn't have to happen is that first awkward and uncoordinated period when people, eager to put their talents into response and recovery, can't find the means. So the AIA and Architecture for Humanity launched to open the conversation re: protocol for architects responding to disaster.

From HQ, we're again seeing the capacity for compassion in our design professions. Five chapters are coordinating with the AIA to respond to a recent series of storms in the Midwest. March 11th marked the one year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and we've seen incredible community efforts in their ongoing recovery (see the Full Report). Flooding in Brazil last year has us focusing on community centers in reconstruction and Haiti is two years into its own recovery, with the Rebuilding Center now fully engaged in planning, civic art and economic development.

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The Architecture for Humanity Team
San Francisco | Port-au-Prince | Cape Town | Sendai

@archforhumanity | @casinclair | @DLYGAD

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This Issue: DLYGAD2 | Project Updates | [Un]Restricted Access | Chapter News | Design Opportunities, Jobs | Comings and Goings + Other News | Events


The follow-up volume known to us lovingly as DLYGAD[2] hits the shelves May 1...and is available now for pre order from Amazon!


Members of Oshika House

Japan: One Year Later
The international support for Tohoku has been incredible. Our funding partner, Punkt., sponsored a collective exhibition 'Made in Japan' at the Triennale di Milano, and will participate in an exhibition on environmental protection, and new and renewable energies. Students Rebuild honors Tohoku through a short film celebrating the results of an incredible youth collaboration: catch up on 2 million cranes in 4 minutes. Nike Japan hosted RUN TOGETHER, where over 8600 runners href="">covered 3x the country's perimeter to raise money for reconstruction.

Montrouis school officially opened Feb 29

Haiti: Rebuilding Center
The Santo community outside Léogâne opened 150 homes to residents last month. The opening comes after nearly a year of community-led planning and construction development, with recommendations compiled by Architecture for Humanity and unit construction headed by Habitat for Humanity International.

For the urban neighborhood of Villa Rosa, a series of mirco-planning sessions evaluated 10 zones from an initial phase to develop planning and construction recommendations. Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger, Montrouis ("Mon-we") officially opened on Leap Day - balloons and streamers tried to match the school's sun shades in vibrancy. Students Rebuild nets progress on the other schools. Also, the 'Grand Poobah' of disaser response Ian Davis last month released a report on reconstruction progress for UN Habitat. Most of their concerns are being addressed by the Haiti Rebuilding Center and we continue to develop locally led rebuilding strategies that maximize job creation and strong, safe building.
2011 Haiti Annual Report
- en français

Brazil: NIKE Gamechangers
A design studio and on-site workshop with the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya is jump-starting a community sports center for a 61-house rebuiling project in flood-stricken Petropolis. Irado!

Manica FFH Center crew testing compressed earth block

Africa: Football for Hope
The Football for Hope program aims to build 20 centers around Africa by 2013. Up to now we have 19 centers allocated and started, so there is only one more to go! Our office in Cape Town is slowly emptying as our Design Fellows are moving to their project sites. In January and February, Elisa Engel moved to Botswana to work with the Ramotswa community; Alma Ruiz to Tanzania and professional collaborations in Dar es Salaam; and Themba Mekwa is leaving this week for Mokopane in the Limpopo region of South Africa to refine his master plan.

A status check on all FFH Centres (plus) is covered in this month's Project Board review.


Still-abandoned warehouse on old Fort Ord, California

Good news for you sleep-deprived design students: the submission deadline has moved to June 1, 2012, with registration closing May 1. If that's not enough to get you animated, take a gander at old Fort Ord on the California coast - what would you have done differently? What will you propose for the base in your backyard? #OAC11



A grateful thank you goes out to our Midwest chapters who have responded to the recent weather related disaster. These chapters are: Chicago, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville and St. Louis. Chapters are currently assessing the requests and needs of affected communities for long term reconstruction planning as well as reaching out to local strategic partners such as AIA components, community leaders and stakeholders.

How will your city's architects respond to a disaster event? In conjunction with our strategic partnership with the AIA, we are launching grant opportunities for our respective chapters and components to submit proposal for plans that define the roles of their cities' architects in disaster awareness planning and long term recovery. The grant application period runs from 12MAR through 14MAY.

Congratulations to the San Francisco chapter for their "1 Burrows Pocket Park" project. City of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee used this project earlier this week as the background for the launch of the city's Invest in Neighborhoods Program which is dedicated to the greening and economic improvement of city neighborhoods. The project showcases an innovative design for a small, neglected piece of land and exemplifies how a coordinated city strategy can produce positive change in our neighborhoods.  For more, see our review of the event.

Earth Day Festival, 2012! The new Santa Barbara chapter will make their debut at the local Earth Day celebration at Alameda park in Santa Barbara. The chapter is looking forward to generating excitement for future projects, sharing ideas, expertise, and passion to make good things happen!

 DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES, JOBS (Pst...we're hiring!)


San Francisco Project Accountant, Operations Director, Web Product Developer, Program Manager, Construction Contracts Manager, Volunteer: Haiti Program (in SF), Volunteer: Tohoku Rebuilding Program, Volunteer: Open Architecture Challenge, Volunteer: Model Maker, Volunteer: Translators (Portuguese/English and French/English)

Port-au-Prince Haiti Team Structural Engineer, Directeur/Planification et conception, Volunteer

Sendai Regional Program Manager, Design Fellow: 日本


We count ourselves *super lucky* that we get the chance to welcome new volunteers every month. Here at HQ we want to extend a warm one (or cold one!) to OAC 11 Volunteer Romain Bigaré from Belgium, Research Intern Elisha Cohen from the Bay Area, Nike Gamechangers Intern Carolina Libardi from Brazil and Data Management Volunteer Jeanne Liwanag from the Bay Area. In our Football for Hope projects in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania, we're looking forward to working with Oliver Kienzi and Ana Ramos. Welcome!

The Haiti Rebuilding Center bids farewell to volunteer extraordinaires Claudia and Brett. Villa Rosa will miss you. The team there also waved a temporary good bye to their Commander & Chief, Eric Cesal, who is up at Headquarters on temporary reassignment.

Finally, a BIG thank you to Mari Krakenes, from Oslo, Norway, who completed four months volunteering full-time with Architecture for Humanity, both onsite in Haiti and at HQ.


Architecture for Humanity's Weekly Design Open Mic (open house) Who: You | When: Every Wed., 12 - 1 pm | Where: 848 Folsom Street, Suite 201, San Francisco

SFO Chair - Exhibit and Auction  When: March 29, 2012 | Where: Photobooth Gallery, 1193 Valencia Street, San Francisco

Ideas on a Postcard, Please  When: May 3-9, 2012 | Where: Space fiftyfour, 54, Rivington Street, London

Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! 2012 When: November 12-13, 2012 | Where: Autodesk Gallery, 1 Market Street #200  San Francisco, CA 94105 --> We're gearing up for our 3rd Annual humanitarian design forum and it's taking place in San Francisco this year right before Greenbuild. More details to come but Save the Date and start plotting your Design Open Mic submission for 7 minutes of fame.
Interested in sponsoring? Contact us!
See you next month...or next Wednesday!