Architects of Social Responsibility

Views of humanitarian architecture in practice

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration ©Evgenia Barinova
Image for post
Image for post
Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Church, L’Aquila, part of the reconstruction effort following the 2011 earthquake. © Fabio Mantovani.

“Architects are trained coordinators, and this skill is so precious when dealing with the moving parts in the world of humanitarian design. We are also known for our ability to envision and look at problems from very unique perspectives. Therefore there is a very special role that we as architects can fill in understanding the complexities of disaster relief and aid” Carly Althoff, Journeyman International

Image for post
Image for post
Better Shelter © IKEA Foundation

“As practicing architects, many of us will be familiar with the art of balancing visions — those of the client, the user, our own artistic ambition. In the nonprofit sector, those power relations are shifted, and as an architect working in this field it is evermore crucial to also foreground the needs, wishes, and cultural heritage of the communities you work within, whose voices can become distant and quiet.”

Image for post
Image for post
Mapping workshop, Sierra Leone ©Robin Cross for Article 25

“It is important to keep ethics, compassion and respect in mind. The whole talk of corporate and social responsibility is wonderful but sometimes good intentions can lead to harmful unintended consequences” Archive Global

Image for post
Image for post
Water pump repair project in Zimbabwe ©Daniel Wiens

“You realize how little you know and how small your world view once was, and it is quite humbling. It is my hope that everyone who takes part in a project like this, whether at home or abroad, will gain wisdom and renewed sense of their own humanity.” Journeyman International

Written by

Architect and researcher based in Tanzania, East Africa. Follow for discussions on how global developments are shaping the built environment👇

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store