The civil war in Syria has created millions of refugees forced to flee hostilities for safer ground. Those numbers include, according to the United Nations' refugee agency and Save the Children, more than 1.3 million children under the age of 18. To help house those staggering populations, nonprofit Pilosio Building Peace has teamed up with architects Pouya Khazaeli and Cameron Sinclair to build economical architecture designed to house refugees who have been uprooted by war. Cameron Sinclair, former founder of Architecture for Humanity and current founder of for-purpose design firm Small Works, collaborated with Iranian architect Pouya Khazaeli to ensure meaningful social and cultural impact for the project. Their 52-foot-square re-deployable buildings are located in Amman, Jordan at refugee camps Rania Park and Zaatar. The structures can serve as houses, schools, or clinics. A team of ten workers and $33,000 was able to construct the so-called RE:BUILD project. The buildings use earth as a primary construction material. The complex consists of all locally-sourced materials ranging from framework made from scaffolding tubes, walls assembled using earth and sand (also functioning as a natural insulator), to a roof fashioned from steel panels. RE:BUILD is both structurally sound and environmentally friendly as water and electricity are not required. The project also offers refugees the chance to get involved in a hands-on experience by allowing them to assist with assembling the structures. This opportunity, organizers say, provides the refugees with a glimpse into the experience of transforming what appears to be a helpless situation into positive progress.
Posts tagged with "Cameron Sinclair":
Late in the day on Friday, December 16, Cameron Sinclair, the co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, sent a letter that stunned the world of public interest architecture. According to Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity is closing its doors. John King of the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed that the San Francisco–based staff had been laid off at the beginning of the month. The organization, which Sinclair founded with Kate Stohr, responded to natural disasters around the world with innovative pro-bono architecture in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. At its peak, Architecture for Humanity had 60 chapters and won a National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Sinclair and Stohr are no longer with the organization. Calls to Architecture for Humanity did not go through. Sinclair's letter in full:
We just heard the news that Architecture for Humanity, the organization we started more than 15 years ago, has pivoted its mission and is planning to close. We are deeply saddened by this. Our hearts are with the staff and chapter members who worked so hard to build a wonderful organization that did so much for communities around the world. We made so many wonderful friends and will continue personally to support your work. We ran the organization and grew it from just a small circle of volunteers to an international organization with chapters in 25 countries. For more than 10 years, together we led the movement to bring social design where it is needed most. We built award-winning buildings, ran innovative programs, personally raised more than $5 million in annual funding, year in and year out, and established more than five community design centers that set the standard for rebuilding after disaster. We hope the profession will continue to design like a give damn--in whatever form that takes... And we urge the chapters to continue their much needed work. Thank you, Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr Co-founders, Architecture for Humanity
As the northeast is slowly getting back on its feet, non-profit Architecture for Humanity is already commencing its plans for rebuilding and recovery. While it's still early, the organization, which is partnering with AIA chapters in the hardest hit regions, is starting first with impact assessment. Generally working in hard hit areas around the world, this is the first time their New York chapter has had to respond locally, pointed out Jennifer Dunn, New York Chapter Leader. AFH is not only looking to re-build, but to re-build better. “We don't just want to help build back the coastline but create more resilient communities that can withstand future disasters,” said co-founder Cameron Sinclair in a statement. Architecture for Humanity is looking for support in the form of donations or volunteers. Donations can be made online here, while volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Flood repair strategies are posted here. Further updates will appear on the Architecture for Humanity website as soon as they are available.
Architectural documentaries are all the rage these days, from Louis Kahn to Frank Gehry and, most recently and sadly, Julius Shulman. Now comes another, Snakebit about Rural Studio and its inimitable founder Samuel "Sambo" Mockbee, that, like its predecessors, seems unexpectedly moving, even for architecture buffs. The Alabama-based architecture school is well known for the phenomenal, important work it does for a market rarely, or at least not often enough, visited by "serious" architects. It's affecting rhetoric and work all right, but to see the immense impact good architecture can have on the depredations of poverty on the big screen--or even on YouTube--puts Rural Studio's work into a whole other context. Mockbee died in 2001, but the filmmakers dug up archival interviews, in addition to talking to such like-minded luminaries as Cameron Sinclair and Peter Eisenman as well as current instructor and students, making it feel as though Mockbee were still alive, especially as building after building his unique approach inspired rise before the viewers' eyes. The film has not yet received wide distribution, but check out the official site as broadcast dates are expected soon enough.