map of the chapter network

When the Architecture for Humanity headquarters announced they were filing for bankruptcy last January, many of their local Architecture for Humanity chapters were taken by surprise. Instead of closing up shop like their parent office, these community-based AFH chapters banded together and decided to stay open and continue to serve their communities around the world.

Not only have they shown their resiliency by continuing on, these chapters have decided to rebuild an organization that better supports the needs of their volunteers and communities. The first major step was establishing a steering committee representing chapter leaders from each region worldwide. The second major step was announced last week, they have hired a transition coordinator! Alicia Breck is a strategist who works with government and not-for-profit organizations involved in city resilience and socio-economic development. She will be working closely with Garrett Jacobs, Acting Chair, and the rest of the steering committee.

See more information on the Chapter Network website. Stay in touch with the DC Chapter –


Photo © Mark Warren courtesy Architecture for Humanity For the Baguinéda center, which opened in Bamako, Mali, in 2010, architects Michael Heublein and Quarc Design used local stone and earth block to recall traditional Malian adobe and mud-brick buildings.

The latest issue of Architectural Record highlights Architecture and Ethics. There is a great article on activist design, also known as public interest design, where Lamar Anderson describes its history within the field of Architecture. Listing many organizations such as Design Corps, Community Design Centers, Public Architecture, Architecture for Humanity (see the local chapter), Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, and MASS Design Group, Anderson gives a full picture of what is happening with this movement and where it hopes to go. They key to make this last? Funding, nonprofits, & research.

“In our own time of growing humanitarian crisis, global climate change, and mounting concern over income inequality, activist architects are no longer relegated to the field’s fringes…Increasingly, public-minded architects are thinking like economists, widening their focus beyond buildings themselves to the communities they support.”

Read more by Lamar Anderson at Architectural Record.