November 9, 2004
by Canadian Architect
Architecture for Humanity (AFH) is a registered non-profit organization set up to promote architecture and design solutions to humanitarian crises. The organization is currently involved in eight countries including developing healthcare facilities to combat HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, tackling issues of poverty and homelessness in America, earthquake recovery assistance in Iran and refugee housing issues on the Chad/Sudan borders. Their 2004 design competition, Siyathemba, has garnered more than 270 entries from around the world and will result in the building of a community sports and healthcare facility in Somkhele, South Africa, an area with one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world.
In 2005, AFH will undertake its largest project to date, developing sustainable architectural and design interventions in long-term refugee camps and settlements in order to create social and economic change. Next year will also see the publication of Design Like You Give A Damn, a book that documents humanitarian design over the last 100 years.
This year AFH started chapters in the UK, Italy, New York and San Francisco. These groups are growing rapidly and doing local projects as well as donating pro-bono services to non-profits. AFH is looking for people to take the lead in setting up a "virtual" Canadian office check out the NY Chapter’s website at www.afhny.org – that might be interested in rallying the troops and running the Canadian chapter.
The AFH headquarters is considering moving to Seattle or Vancouver in early 2005, so the obvious location for the Canadian chapter would be the Pacific Northwest. AFH also has a strong following in Toronto, so there is the opportunity for multiple offices in Canada. For more information, please visit www.architectureforhumanity.org or contact:
Cameron Sinclair, Executive Director
923 Washington Street
Hoboken, New Jersey