Design For Japan

In response to the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, I have been moved by the response within the design community. Designers of varied disciplines have shared the gift of their craft to raise awareness and much needed funds to help the survivors of this disaster. When something as immense as this happens, it often leaves one feeling a bit helpless, wondering what to do to make a dent in the vast need. Design is a powerful thing. It has the capability to bring together people of all nations, in a common unspoken language. I am inspired by those taking action, regardless of the scale of the gesture, from a limited edition poster to the design of much needed relief shelter. It reminds me that it is the collective action of each one of us as individuals that makes a difference.

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Architecture For Humanity

One of my favorite things to do is to spend time on the TED website.  TED is a small nonprofit devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading".   "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. The TED Conference is a gathering of the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other".
I wanted to share a video with you.  I have kept it on my desktop since 2006 when Cameron Sinclair of Architecture For Humanity spoke at the TED conference.  It serves as a reminder of what I believe Design can and should be. Design should not be just for those who can afford beautiful spaces or objects.  Good design is necessary and should be accessible to all.  Cameron Sinclair is an Architect who is making a real difference in the world;  not by erecting buildings of his own design, but by creating a community of collaboration.
Check out Cameron Sinclair's video, below:
The Open Architecture Network is an online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design.  Architecture for Humanity received the prestigious TED prize, which granted them the resources to create the Open Architecture Network as a tool to bring design to communities in need. Projects such as PeaPoD, a Portable Classroom, can be shared with communities worldwide.
"'Design Like You Give a Damn is a compendium of innovative projects from around the world, edited by Architecture For Humanity, that demonstrate the power of design to improve lives. Design Like You Give a Damn offers a history of the movement toward socially conscious design, and showcases more than 80 contemporary solutions to such urgent needs as basic shelter, healthcare, education and access to clean water, energy and sanitation".
Work for Design Like You Give a Damn 2 is underway. Nominations for projects that highlight breakthrough design solutions with the power and potential to improve our lives and the world are being accepted. These designs may improve the human spirit, increase awareness of the environment, or respond to areas of need in the world, whether to provide shelter and clean water or address climate change and humanitarian crises.
Architecture For Humanity has chapters world wide, creating a venue for designers, architects and experts in related fields to work together to create meaningful solutions.
Have an idea to share?  Contact:
All images courtesy of and

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