Perusing the devastating images now emerging from last week's tsunami disaster in Japan, it’s hard to imagine how people will get back on their feet, how those towns will ever recover.
But they've got help.
In Haiti, Pakistan, Rwanda, the Navajo Nation, and now in Japan, Architecture for Humanity steps into communities devastated by war, natural disaster, or other catastrophe to rebuild sustainably. Established in 1999, the nonprofit works with international NGOs and local partners to bring design expertise to places that are in great need of thoughtful, sustainable, and durable reconstruction. More than 40,000 professional architects donate their time, enabling Architecture for Humanity to pursue cutting-edge design strategies in developing communities around the world.
The group has built hurricane-relief housing in New Orleans, schools in Sri Lanka, soccer stadiums in Mali, women’s retreat facilities in India, and are now turning their attention to post-tsunami rebuilding in Japan
. In keeping with their conviction that design is for everyone, Architecture for Humanity established the Open Architecture Network
, which provides open-source access to architectural plans and drawings, allowing everybody involved in a project to review and contribute while providing inspiration for designers on other continents. Nearly 90% of their funding goes to construction and design services, meaning that the vast majority of their resources directly support the group's mission: building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.
It’s organizations like this that make us feel that even the most heartbreakingly daunting circumstances
can be surmounted by collective effort.
--Zoë J. Sheldon