Global Vision Awards 2007
Architecture for Humanity, Sausalito, California
Architecture for Humanity–designed housing for Sri Lankan families displaced by the 2004 tsunami.
In an era of celebrity architects and their well-heeled clients, Architecture for Humanity goes against the tide, catering to the great portion of the world's population that does not have access to an architect's skills. Since launching the design collective in 1999 with a competition for inexpensive transitional housing in war-ravaged Kosovo, cofounders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr have led an international grassroots campaign that seeks inventive architectural solutions to humanitarian crises. The Sausalito-based nonprofit has spearheaded roughly 100 building projects in 15 countries and sponsored four additional open-source architecture contests (most recently for tech centers in developing areas). In March, Sinclair introduced the Open Architecture Network, an online hub for socially conscious design. The multilingual Web community permits anyone—amateurs, architects, governments, and NGO's—to post and comment on designs in an ongoing collaboration. They can also access and reproduce many of these plans free of charge, making the site an important resource for builders in developing countries. It's the first organization of its kind, and 7,000 members have already registered. Designs emphasize low cost and sustainable materials—a sure sign that the members of this community share Sinclair and Stohr's vision of architecture as a force for good.
Our judge says: "Architecture for Humanity's work recognizes that the benefits of true quality—whether in design or food—should not be just a privilege of the few."—Carlo Petrini
Visit the Global Vision Awards 2007 article.