Architecture For Humanity

Hi guys, Here is an update on our Tsunami Reconstruction project. I’ve been amazed by the response but more is yet to come. I had a long chat with Jonathan Glancey yesterday and he is doing a write up on Monday in the Guardian.

One thing we may need is engineering help – I know Arup has worked on some low tech projects (the Druk White Lotus School springs to mind) perhaps we could form a partnership with then on rebuilding one of the villages.

Cheers, Cameron

Most of our donations have come from the state so it would be great if you could forward this to the UK design media (I did BBC Belfast this morning)

Project Re:Build

On December 26th, a series of earthquakes occurred in the area of the western coast of Northern Sumatra, Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands. The two strongest earthquakes had the magnitude of 8.9 and 7.3. The earthquakes caused tsunamis impacting nine countries in the region leaving more than 150,000 dead and a further 4M forced from their homes. Over 12 countries are affected as far away as Somalia and Kenya with the Aceh province in Indonesia and Sri Lanka said to be worst hit.

Within hours of the disaster Architecture for Humanity and, a web site covering "Tools, models and ideas for building a better future" jointly launched a reconstruction appeal with a target of $100,000.

Prior to this response we have been involved in previous reconstruction efforts in Grenada, Iran (Bam) and Kosovo, where permanent homes and community spaces where build for less than $2000 through local relief groups. These partnerships are formed with groups who employ local labor and utilize local construction techniques as well as economic and environmental sustainability. By working those affected this keeps funds within the community, creates micro-economies for those trying to get out of this disaster and is the most cost-effective way of rebuilding. As Alex Steffen of calls a ‘small good thing in a large tragedy.’

In just over 10 days the total for the reconstruction appeal is just over $72,000 from a staggering 745 donors. Donations and support has come all walks of life from seventh graders, general contractors, established design professionals, college students, to the American Institute of Architects. In addition to many individuals who have responded, small businesses like, Blue Star Jets and Inform Interiors? are running fund raising initiatives on our behalf.

This target, coupled with pro-bono design services (all AFH staff are working without compensation) and material donations, will allow for the building of more than just basic shelter, allowing the construction of schools, infrastructure and medical clinics. With a more holistic and sustainable approach of reconstruction, a truly worldchanging idea, the funds will help to build beyond simple dwellings to live but create real communities for life to grow, rebuild and renew.

We are already beginning to undertake reconstruction initiatives in Sri Lanka and our country representative, Samir Shah, is assessing villages in the Hembanthota District at this present time (click here for further information). One of the major projects that we are developing, Project Re:Build, will be to utilize locally based construction techniques, allowing immediate community participation, and innovative sustainable initiatives to rebuild a entire village which has been devastated by the tsunami. This project is more than building homes but will involve the construction of a community hub that will include a school, health clinic, marketplace and public gathering places. This form of architectural acupuncture creates a catalyst in which communities to grow and build - eventually towns and villages will re-emerge.

Once the project has been completed, the finished urban planning and architectural schemes will be made available to other NG Os? and local communities so that this idea may be replicated throughout Sri Lanka —and eventually, other regions affected by this tragedy.

There are 3 ways to donate; either by Paypal or Network for Good via the Architecture for Humanity website or by mailing a check to: Architecture for Humanity, 923 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 07030 USA

Recent Press:

NPR (Day to Day)

Guardian (UK):,15671,1382912,00.html/

New York Times:

Architectural Record:

About Architecture for Humanity Architecture for Humanity seeks architecture solutions to humanitarian crises and brings design services to communities in need. The organization is currently involved in eight countries including developing healthcare facilities to combat HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, tackling issues of poverty and homelessness in America, refugee housing issues on the Chad/Sudan borders and recovery assistance in Grenada, Iran (Bam) and Turkey.

We believe that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable and ollaborative design can make a difference.

About The online publication covers tools, models and ideas for building a better future. With contributors in nine nations, and a web of allies around the planet, World Changing? delivers essential information for people who want to make a difference -- an approach that has won it accolades in the press, hundreds of thousands of readers and an Utne Independent Press Award.

Cameron Sinclair - Executive Director Architecture for Humanity 923 Washington Street Hoboken, New Jersey

Tel: 1 646 765 0906 Email:

Architecture for Humanity seeks architecture solutions to humanitarian crises and brings design services to communities in need.

Between now and January 5th – please click on the following link and help us build a better world --