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About Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization founded in 1999 to promote architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. Through competitions, workshops, educational forums, partnerships with aid organizations and other activities, Architecture for Humanity creates opportunities for architects and designers from around the world to help communities in need. We believe that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable and collaborative design can make a difference.

The organization is currently providing design services and funding for reconstruction in India and Sri Lanka following the devastating tsunami that struck South-East Asia in December 2004. Past initiatives also include three international design competitions: Siyathemba youth sports and HIV/AIDS outreach facility for Somkhele, South Africa (2004-2005), Outreach: Design Ideas for Mobile Health Clinic to Combat HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (2001-2004); and Transitional Housing for Kosovo’s Returning Refugees (1999-2000).

In addition to implementing design initiatives and competitions, Architecture for Humanity supports humanitarian-directed design through advocacy. To that end, we have consulted with government bodies and relief organizations on a number of projects, including mine clearance programs and playground building in the Balkans; earthquake resistant construction techniques in Turkey and Iran; school building in Calcutta and refugee housing on the borders of Afghanistan. We have also provided referrals and advice to a number of organizations, including Oprah’s Angel Network, Kansas City Economic Development Corporation, Kids With Cameras, Habitat for Humanity, Common Ground, Planned Parenthood International, and others.

Finally, through exhibitions, media attention, conferences and forums, we foster public appreciation for the many ways that architecture and design can improve lives.

Educational Workshops

At the university level, architecture and design programs around the world have used our competitions and design criteria as a model for semester-long projects. In addition we have hosted student-led workshops focused on humanitarian-directed design at a number of universities. Elementary and high school students have also benefited from our design initiatives through after-school workshops.

Local Groups

Over the last two years groups have sprung up around the world to lend their time and talents to community groups and advocate for better planning and design in their communities. Using the meetup model over 1500 designers meet regularly to discuss and participate in design projects. Active groups are based in New York, London, Atlanta, Boston, Belfast, Chattanooga, Chicago, Dublin, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St.Louis, Sydney, Toronto and Washington DC. You can sign up or start your own local group via afh.meetup.com or click on the links of the respective cities above.

Team Members

At the heart of Architecture for Humanity is a core group of people who have generously donated their time and efforts to keep AFH running. With advocates around the world Architecture for Humanity is truly becoming a global organization that encourages designers to make a difference.

  • Executive Director/Co-founder: Cameron Sinclair
  • Co-founder: Kate Stohr
  • Legal Representative: Steven Meier
  • Chief Financial Officer: Nicholas Constantakis

Design Fellows

  • India: Purmina McCutcheon
  • Sri Lanka: Susi Platt
  • Bozeman, MT: Laura Cole, Mike Lorefice, Jason Andersen
  • New York, NY: Cynthia Barton

AFH Advisory Board (2004 – 2006)

We are a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization led by a board of directors and an advisory board which is replaced every two years. With each project, additional advisory board members are assembled based their individual areas of expertise.

We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by a board of directors and an advisory board which is replaced every two years. With each project, additional advisory board members are assembled based on their individual areas of expertise.

Dr. Robert Blaich, ICSID : Principal – Blaich Associates, Aspen, Colorado, USA and former V.P. of Design at Herman Miller

Lisa Dubin : Principal – Lisa Dubin Architect, New York, NY and consultant to the International Rescue Committee

Dr Shaffiq Essajee : Director – AIDS Research and Family Care Clinic, Mombasa, Kenya and NYU Medical Center, NY, USA

Prof. Rodney Harber : Principal – Harber and Associates and Professor – School of Architecture, University of Natal, South Africa

Steve Kinsler : Principal – East Coast Architects, Durban, South Africa

Dr. Reuben Mutiso : Principal – Tectura International, Nairobi, Kenya

Ambassador Richard Swett : Principal – Swett Associates and former US Congressman and Ambassador to Denmark, Bow, NH, USA

The Founders

Cameron Sinclair (Executive Director/Co-founder)

Architecture for Humanity was co-founded by its Executive Director, Cameron Sinclair, who was trained as an architect at the University of Westminster and at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. During his studies, Mr. Sinclair developed an interest in social, cultural and humanitarian design. His postgraduate thesis focused on providing shelter to New York’s homeless population through sustainable, transitional housing. After completing his studies, he moved to New York where he has worked as a designer and project architect.

Sinclair is a regular guest critic and lecturer at schools and colleges in the United States and abroad. Recently he served as the Cass Gilbert Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.He has spoken at a number of international business and design conferences on sustainable development and postdisaster reconstruction, including guest appearances on BBC World Service, CNN International and National Public Radio.

Sinclair has contributed to a number of exhibitions dealing with social justice and design. He is also a contributor writer for the blogs Worldchanging.com and, with Kate Stohr, has compiled a book on humanitarian design called “Design Like You Give A Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises”.

In 2003 Sinclair was named a Nice Moderist by Dwell Magazine. He is a recipient of the ASID Design for Humanity award and the Lewis Mumford Award for Peace. In 2004 Fortune Magazine named him as one of the Aspen Seven, seven people changing the world for the better. Most recently Sinclair was one of three winners of the 2006 TED Prize and shortlisted for the UK Designer of the Year.

Kate Stohr (Co-founder)

Kate Stohr is a freelance journalist, documentary producer and experienced project manager. She has written for both national and local news outlets and has covered a range of international, national and local issues, including rape in South Africa, nationalism in Australia and the aftermath of 9/11 in New York.

With experience writing for NY1, New York City’s 24-hour local news station, Ms. Stohr brings with her a background in daily news and a strong understanding of urban issues, planning and infrastructure. She has also written and reported for a number of national publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Record, Business Week, U.S. News & World Report, The Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News and Time Digital. Recent stories have covered such topics as early childhood education, urban farming, waste management, labor issues and environmental justice in New York City. Her documentary credits include: Escape From Death Row (A&E), Night Court (MSNBC) and Teen Gambling(A&E).

Ms. Stohr received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from New York University and her master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, during which time she reported in the South Bronx. It was there she began covering urban planning and infrastructure issues. Working with a team of two other students, she wrote and produced a documentary on the closing of Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island while completing her degree.

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