Architecture is a political act
Three years after the storm

In this Issue - Gulf Coast Retrospective | Rebuilding After Disaster : Hurricane Katrina
AmEx Members Project | Chapters | Comings and Goings | Job Opportunities

Dear readers,

It is a busy week in America. Tomorrow some bloke is giving a speech in a football field, then next week some other guy speaks in some convention center. Kidding aside, if you truly care about the natural and built environment it is vital for you to take note of whose policies will affect the United States. With crumbling education facilities, neglected infrastructure and outdated housing policies, put down your morning coffee and please register to vote.

This week marks the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Many families are still in trailers and crossing their fingers Hurricane Gustav does not hit this weekend (currently projected as a Cat. 3 heading for New Orleans). We are committed to seeing our last projects get built including The Guardians Institute. While there is so much to be done, we'd like to give a special thanks to all those community members and those who came to the coast and helped rebuild. These families would not be home without you.

Over the summer we have written a book dedicated to the lessons learned in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and what communities can do to prepare themselves if disaster strikes. The first edition of the book will ONLY be available online and can be pre-ordered below. If Design Like You Give A Damn was a compendium of humanitarian work, this new publication is a field guide manual in getting it done.

As always there are plenty of ways to get involved, volunteer (see below) or donate. Even If you don't have two pennies to rub together, you can help by nominating us for the AmEx Members Project. We need to break the top 25 and we are currently in 33rd place with 990 votes and only 4 days left. So close... ...will we make it?

Finally for those in San Francisco next month we will be holding a design event for kids as part of the Architecture and the City Festival. If you are in San Francisco and have young'ins drop by our office at 848 Folsom St. on September 6th. Cookies and Creativity abound.

All of us at Architecture for Humanity

Gulf Coast Retrospective

For everyone working on the Gulf Coast, the last three years have gone by quicker than a Jamaican Olympic track star. We've gotten to know and respect so many of the people and families we worked with in the rebuilding effort. Willie Maes Scotch House restaurant (awesome video), one of the very first projects we helped through a grant to Heritage Conservation Network to preserve this historic property and gathering place, is up and running. We slept on floors, in car parks, in cars (that one made it on Car Talk), in tents and sofas to help families home. All in all thousands of families lives were touched by Architecture for Humanity volunteers, design fellows and architects.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to rebuilding along the Gulf Coast. Here's a few of the projects, made possible by your time and your talents:

Housing Recovery:
Parker Residence, Biloxi, MS by Brett Zamore Design
Desporte Residence, Biloxi, MS by CP+D Workshop
Robinson Residence, Biloxi, MS by Huff & Gooden Architects
Odom Residence, Biloxi, MS by GCCDS with Jeanne Gang Architect
Tyler Residence, Biloxi, MS by Marlon Blackwell Architect
Tran Residence, Biloxi, MS by MC2 Architects
Nguyen Residence, Biloxi, MS by MC2 Architects
Guillen Residence, New Orleans, LA by David Briggs AIA
Mona Lisa Saloy Residence, New Orleans, LA by Maureen Nes, John Dwyer and Tracy Nelson
Ms. Kathy's Laundry Room, Waveland, MS by University of Minnesota

Community Design Studios and Construction Workshops
Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Biloxi, MS led by Mississippi State University
Mike's Construction Workshop, Biloxi, MS led by Mike Grote, Architecture for Humanity and Hands On Network
Hands-On Preservation Workshops, led by Heritage Conservation Network
Design Studio at NENA, New Orleans, LA, led by John Dwyer, AIA

Community Rebuilding:
John Henry Beck Red HouseBiloxi, MS by GCCDS and Hand On Network
Biloxi Shade Structure by AFH Austin
Calhoun McCormick Gallery and Studio by Shelter Architecture
Calhoun Residence and Back House by Shelter Architecture
Guardian Institute, New Oreleans, LA by Rockwell Group

Even after completing all these projects, it's humbling to realize how much is left to do. Please take a moment, to help families buy furniture, household goods, and finish rebuilding their lives by making a donation. Note "Gulf Coast" in the designation field and we'll make sure it goes where it should.

Many other groups are also rebuilding on the Gulf Coast and have shared their work on the Open Architecture Network. To see just a few of the projects, see the sidebar to the right.

Rebuilding After Disaster
Hurricane Katrina

The Biloxi Model Home Program

Design is only innovative, if it is shared. One of the projects we learned the most from was the Biloxi Model Home Program. So, we thought we'd share some of the hard won lessons of that project in a book. This 100 page book covers the birth, development and construction of the Biloxi Model Homes--from family selection and financing to sheer walls and windows. It's an honest look at what it really takes to rebuild after disaster. The first edition is ONLY available by pre-ordering from our website and newsletter. Proceeds will go towards the rebuilding effort.

Many thanks to all the participants who helped put these lessons on paper. We are grateful to you.

For customers in the United States:

For customers outside the United States:

AmEx Members Project Update
33rd out of 1190. 4 days left

Nominate Here

Architecture for Humanity and Lulan Artisans are partnering to build sustainable weaving cooperatives in South Asia. This collaboration is creating alternative jobs for women where the only option is to enter into human trafficking. Together we are competing for the American Express Members Project fund. Last week we sent out an email blast and a few hundred of you responded. Thanks to those who voted we were catapulted to 32nd place out of 1190. However only the top 25 make it to the next round. With less than four days until the deadline we only need 300 votes to make it and on average 12,000 of you read this newsletter. Who know perhaps after we win this thing YOU might end up being the designer of one of the cooperatives.

If you do not have an American Express website login, just click "Guest Member" provide a little information and you can then Nominate and vote. Please show your support with a click and forward this request to as many friends as possible.

See project on the OAN | Details on how to nominate

Donate Now

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On the Network: Hurricane Katrina

Freret Street Community Transit Shelter
Project Lead: Design Corps
Location: New Orleans

Lusher Charter School Seating
Project Lead: Tulane University
Location: New Orleans

Edwin Alley Residence
Project Lead: Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
Location: Biloxi, MS

Nola Chicken + Goose Coops
Project Lead: Washington University
Location: New Orleans

Upcoming Events

Design For Good
CNN International

Family Day
San Francisco, CA

Alaska Design Forum
Anchorage, AK

Alaska Design Forum
Fairbanks, AK

Alaska Design Forum
Juno, AK

Lulan Artisans
Charleston, SC

The Art of Being Free
Belmont University
Nashville, TN

Ecogram Conference
Columbia University
New York, NY

National Design Awards
Cooper Hewitt
New York, NY

Iconclast: Diaz + Sinclair
Sundance Channel

Click here to find out more

Chapter Updates

Architecture for Humanity New York was named New Yorkers of the Week by NY1 (image linked to video goodness)
Architecture for Humanity Seattle hosts the Pediatric Health Clinic Design Competition
Architecture for Humanity Miami has it's First Chapter Meetup in early September
Architecture for Humanity Minnesota hosts a fundraiser for their Homeless Locker Project

Coming and Goings

This month's new arrivals include: Blake Clark, who has a name like an action hero and is proving himself to be by heading up our 2009 Open Architecture Challenge on Portable Classrooms (set for Spring 2009); Allison Price from UC San Francisco; Sara Alvarez from Seed Housing who is helping to plan the resources area on the Open Architecture Network; and Stacy Farfan from UC Berkeley, has rejoined us after a stint in Italy.

Alas school has started and we lose another gang of awesomeness. That motley crew includes Megan Keely from Cornell University; Youngjin Kim; Ginny Uyesugi and Anand Sheth from California College of the Arts; Susanna Pho from UC Berkeley; Maggie Winter from University of Washington; Azahar Checa Goldsmiths University; and Patricia "Patty" Siu-Lan Fung from UC Santa Cruz

Design volunteer Matt Miller who worked on the Kutamba AIDS Orphans School in Uganda has begun teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). We will miss his McGuyver-esque get-it-bleeping-done attitude. A hint to his students: Burn the Derrida books you won't be needing them.

Job Opportunities

Position: Site Architect for SIDAREC Community Resource Center
What: We are looking for a locally licensed architect or firm to shepherd this project through to completion.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Position: Design Fellow, Football for Hope Program
What: Work in the heart of the South African wine district to help manage the construction of community projects all over Africa. Did I mention wine?
Location: Paarl, South Africa

Position: Architect, UNICEF Child Friendly Schools
What: Help design and build world class schools and sew together post conflict countries through innovative design.
Locations: Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Sierra Leone

Position: Engineer, UNICEF Child Friendly Schools
What: If you are part Frei Otto, part McGuyver then this is the gig for you.
Locations: Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Sierra Leone

Position: Programs Administrator
What: Work on projects in ten countries at the same time and tag team with our project managers.
Location: San Francisco, CA

Position: Development Director
What: Help us grow into a strong sustainable organization. Much like our buildings.
Location: San Francisco, CA

If you are interested in any of these positions, please email jobs (at) with your resume, samples of work and salary requirements. • Architecture for Humanity