‘Human'(itarian) Design/Architecture

Interdisciplinary Trio

Architecture –> Humanitarian design
Nature          –> Sustainable/environmentally friendly
Faith/spiritual-> Self awareness, community building & sharing

Here’s a short backstory…

He was big. Not in the ‘physical’ sense but he had a ‘big’ personality.
He also had many wrinkles on his face and white and grey hair.
He most probably was retired.

Meet Tony.

G’day & Chao (hello in Vietnamese),

I went to a ‘Faith & Environment’ workshop a couple of weeks ago, run by ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change). In one of the workshop sessions, we had to go around the circle sharing our ‘eco-conversion’ story. I was fortunate that an architect was sitting next to me. One man overheard our conversation and he abruptly stopped our conversation and shared his feats to the group…

He was a good man though. His personality was a bit strong though. I understand though.

Despite him being not so popular in the group, he sat next to me in the next workshop session. We managed to chat a little (even though I tried not to – the facilitator was talking but I also wanted to respect him too). He showed me his accomplishment as a ‘builder’ and ‘designer.’ He apparently won the ‘World’s Best Disaster House design competition many years ago. He walked up to me and showed his certificate – Wow, I thought. I should learn more from him. Design competition – I would love to try that one day.

He wrote down his contact details and I met him yesterday.

I respected him even more when he apologised for his ‘behaviour’ on that day. I nodded my head and I told him that I understand. He went over the specifications and drawing details I needed to do for his ‘Bambcrete House‘ design.

His winning competition design of a tsunami build consists of:
– PVC pipes
– Bamboo reinforcements
– Concrete fill

I will draft these in the next week or so, I will post them up soon (due to copyright issues, please keep these drawings to yourself).

Interdisciplinary reflections…
– I got to know him as a fellow citizen on Earth. There was no one other than myself – he was being himself.
– He has a life story – narrated here & can be read here (news)
– He has a great gift – creating ‘innovative’ solutions. That’s why he’s an engineer/technologist.
– His life serving mission – to help the poor in Indonesia.
Interdisciplinary applications…

– I need to look more into ‘humanitarian design/emergency housing’ …
– Can I combine my knowledge with ‘sustainable/environmental design?’ What kind of spaces/house can I design? In which countries? What type of build? – 
Interdisciplinary keywords…

– ethnography
– social & cultural studies
– community planning and design
– philanthropy
– design & community ACTIVISM
– local politics
– design for the 90%
– volunteer/altruistic

Interdisciplinary questions:

How can we be an architect and use it to serve people like Tony and his skills? Does it change the notion of what an architect is? 

What do you know/think about humanitarian design? What kind of curriculum does your school/uni/college provide about this type of design?

What is it’s role today(in Australia)? Any humanitarian architect firms in Australian you know of?

That’s all for this post fellow citizens. All comments/thoughts/opinions of the questions above are welcome. 
Until the next post…
Let’s connect the dots about the world, dialogue about the world and serve people in the world…