Each year Architecture for Humanity’s Open Architecture Challenge design competition brings public attention to inequities in the built environment affecting the health, prosperity and well being of under-served communities. In 2009 the Open Architecture Challenge will focus on the issue of portable classrooms.
In 2003, the Modular Building Institute estimated that more than 220,000 K-12 portable classrooms were in use by public school systems. Because school systems cannot readily access capital funding, these temporary and makeshift classrooms have become an unintended fixture of many educational campuses. In the United States alone more than 6 million students spend much of their day in “portable” classrooms. Anyone who has spent time in one of these classrooms knows that we can do better.