Humanitarianism in Architecture

People say there is always good that comes out of a bad economy. One trend - I will call it a trend but in reality it has been around forever but just has not gotten the attention it deserved- is Humanitarian Design in Architecture. Lately I have seen more coverage on this subject and have read many accounts of great projects that get to the heart of the substance of good architecture. When things get tough, in any profession, the substance always rises to the top and this is a case in point. Take a look at groups such as Architecture for Humanity or Design Corps. This is good architecture in action.

Sustainability was once also viewed as a trend now the industry fully embraces this practice and expects it. Sustainability is a given in these type projects. Not only do projects like these encourage sustainable building and design practices, but they also help sustain our communities – locally and globally. Because thinking sustainability often means thinking beyond the thermal performance of your roof or the daylighting in your building. It means thinking about the people and communities those buildings serve. How can we, the A&D community, create spaces that are healthier and provide opportunity? This new movement of humanitarian design in architecture coupled with sustainability is a win-win for everyone.

It is important for all of us to determine where we can fit into this movement. Architects, designers, building product manufacturers, marketers and the media can all find their place in moving this thought process forward. Join Function: on July 15th for a webinar to take this discussion further. To register for the webinar please go to-

dana castle
principal + director of strategy
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