Dear old and new friends of Architecture in Development,
Seven years ago we worked as architects, designing buildings that were often built and used by people we didn’t even know. At times we enjoyed designing something to ‘wow’ people, but in general, we struggled to find meaning and fulfillment in our profession.
We asked ourselves: for whom and for what purpose are we doing this? Isn't architecture the best excuse to bring people together and give meaning to the way we live, work and learn?
We quit our jobs, began our foundation Architecture in Development (AiD) and launched an online platform in 2011. Our aim is to collect world-wide cases of grassroots architecture where architects work hand-in-hand with under-resourced communities to solve the pressing needs in educational, health, economic and environmental development. Our platform has, since then, grown to a database of 500+ cases with an outreach of more than 50,000 building professionals across all continents.
During these years, young professionals regularly asked us how to participate in community built projects. It seemed that there were more people out there struggling with meaning and fulfillment in their profession, looking for new opportunities that could positively impact the lives of people.
We wondered, how can we bring these passionate people together to achieve something greater?
So we launched the 2016 Buildify competition to scout grassroots initiatives around the world that were still in need of expertise and resources to get off the ground. From the 80+ submissions we received, we selected 5 winning proposals and committed ourselves to match passionate experts and partners to them. A year later, a school has been realised, serving 250 children in a slum in India; a community centre in a coastal village in Ecuador has engaged enthusiastic collaborators to kick off the ground.
Now our challenge is to bring this idea to the next level ...
Through the 2016 Buildify pilot and our 2017 survey, we’ve learned that there are great community initiatives in need of your support, and there are passionate people, like you, eager to contribute to the work of these under resourced communities. There is, however, no easy access for you to approach each other. This is why we are transforming our AiD platform from a static database to an interactive collaboration platform that actively matches projects with your talents, facilitates communication and participation and promotes the best collaborations and projects.
Join our exciting journey!
AiD will continue growing to become a meeting place and a welcoming community. In the future, you will find opportunities to participate in architectural projects that impact communities and societies around the world. To make AiD really work for you, we’d love to interview to learn from your experiences and grow together. Let us know how we can best foster a community that can support your impact initiatives!
Rob Breed and Changfang Luo/ founders AiD
We are looking for communication talents to join our AiD team based in Amsterdam!