Just one week before SFI 2015! This weekend will be packed with speakers including DC’s Brad Guy from CUA and new project highlights from the transitioning Chapter Network, formerly known as the AFH international chapters. Hope to see you there!

The fifteenth Structures for Inclusion (SFI) Conference will be held April 11 and 12, 2015, in Detroit, Michigan, and will be hosted by Lawrence Technological University (LTU). The annual conference will feature the best public interest design from around the globe, including the 2015 SEED Award winners.For fifteen years, the purpose of the SFI conference has been to bring together and share the best ideas and practices that are reaching those currently un-served by architecture. Bringing this conference to Detroit in April 2015 is quite fitting given Detroit’s position at a historic crossroad. “Resilience of Mind, Body and Spirit” will be the theme of SFI 15. Projects from Detroit and other resilient cities in search of a new kind of post-industrial world order.

See more about the event at Design Corps.


Bryan Bell, design activist and founder of Design Corps, will lead a 2 day Public Interest Design Institute in Washington DC from January 16-17 (Friday & Saturday). A mix of local and national speakers ranging from grass roots PID projects to federal government initiated projects are listed on the PIDI website. The range will give participants in depth knowledge on how to pursue these project types and what resources there are at all scales to get them off the ground.

Participants will also receive a SEED certification plus 11+ HSW CEUs and learn more about the Social, Economic, and Environmental Design rating system which helps prepare projects for grants applications. Speakers include DC’s very own public interest design firm Make DC along with the nonprofit/for profit combo firm Inscape Publico and volunteer group Architecture for Humanity DC. Larger organizations, such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Enterprise Community Partners may be participating as well.

AIA and AfH members get an early bird discount by Dec 17. Register soon with Public Interest Design Institute, space is limited! Event will be at the District Architecture Center.


Journeyman International website

Journeyman International is an organization which partners design students with local and global humanitarian groups. They offer two programs that students can apply for, a 9-month, full time University Thesis project for seniors, or a 10-week long Internship program for upper level students.

Not a student? No problem! JI wants to meet design professionals who are interested in helping out with the student programs. Not a designer? No worries! See if your organization can partner with a design student.

Find out more by attending the JI happy hour Thursday, September 25, 2014 in Washington DC. See the AFH-DC website for details.


AFAC campaign by Inscape Publico

Inscape Publico recently hosted a happy hour as part of their summer fundraising campaign. This year the featured project is the Arlington Food Assistance Center’s distribution facility. Plans include a renovation of the existing facility and a new teaching kitchen to promote food education. Inscape Publico is a nonprofit (501c3) architecture firm which provides design services for other nonprofit organizations. Their goal is to design for the public good and to inspire positive change in communities.

“Support the value of design with the power of your donation.” Donate here. Read more about Inscape Publico in the Washington Business Journal.


Katrina. Washington Post

The National Building Museum, in Washington DC, is featuring an exhibit on resiliency that will run through August 2nd, 2014 2015.

“Design can reduce our risk and increase our resiliency to the most destructive forces of nature. From seismic retrofits and safe rooms to firebreaks and floodplain management, this exhibition explores how regional, community, and individual preparedness are the best antidotes to disaster.” 

Plan your visit to the NBM. Can’t make it to the exhibit? Check out the Washington Post article and the NBM Designing for Disaster blog MitigationNation.


I recently visited Hammarby Sjostad, an ecodistrict in Stockholm, Sweden. The site was originally intended for an Olympic Village, but when Sweden lost the bid for the 2004 Olympics, they continued with the brownfield redevelopment of this former industrial area. Now it is a sustainable residential neighborhood that can be reached by boat, electric train, bike, or a biogas bus. Unique to this Stockholm neighborhood is that all apartments are connected to one district heating system which is fueled by their collective household waste. Some apartments feature biogas stoves and solar hot water. Exceptional landscape architecture connects the waterfront neighborhood with its natural surroundings, like a storm water managing canal, reintroduced vegetation in the main waterways, and a boardwalk with a variety of fun seating. Click on the photos above to see the full image. Interested in ecodistricts? Attend the EcoDistricts Summit in Washington DC September 24-26.

Read the Hammarby Sjostad case study from EcoDistricts.



MakeDC awarded $20,000 of professional design services to Joseph’s House, a nonprofit that provides end-of-life care for homeless men and women in Washington DC. With a unique twist on the traditional design competition, MakeDC organized this competition where worthy clients presented their desire for design services. A panel of judges then voted for the winning team along with the  public who attended the event. Joseph’s House requested a meditation garden which will welcome neighbors to mingle with their guests receiving end-of-life care. MakeDC is a Public Interest Design firm in the Washington DC area.

See more about MakeDC.


The Potty Project | New Delhi, India

 This year the annual Structures for Inclusion Conference was held at the Parsons New School for Design in New York City, March 22-23. Broadcast: Sharing progress and critical ideas that are moving Public Interest Design forward. Forecast: Projecting your actions forward and asking: “What is the future of Public Interest Design?”

SEED awardees presented: The Potty Project, Manica Football for Hope Centre, Community How-to-Guides, Can City, Comunidad Ecologica Saludable, and TAEQ Green Building Headquarters.