Jordan MacTavish via Harvard Magazine

Check out this article discussing public interest design past, present, and future, in Harvard Magazine’s March-April 2015 issue by Stephanie Garlock. (Thanks for sharing Public Architecture!)

Quotes from the article:

“When it [architecture] only becomes about sculpture, it loses the key asset of architecture, which is that it can add tremendous value to people’s lives.” – Michael Murphy

“I became very interested in the opportunities that the design of the built environment had for achieving social outcomes.” – John Peterson

“If you can find what the aspirations of a community are, and you can use the design process to bring that forward, then you can do extraordinary things with your discipline.” – Maurice Cox


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.