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Design Like You Give A Damn

Architectural Response to Humanitarian Crises – Edited by Architecture for Humanity

The greatest humanitarian challenge we face today is that of providing shelter. Currently one in seven people lives in a slum or refugee camp, and more than three billion people – nearly half the world’s population – do not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation. The physical design of our homes, neighborhoods, and communities shapes every aspect of our lives. Yet too often architects are desperately needed in the places where they can least be afforded.

Edited by Architecture for Humanity, Design Like You Give a Damn is a compendium of innovative projects from around the world that demonstrate the power of design to improve lives. The first book to bring the best of humanitarian architecture and design to the printed page, 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, health care, education, and access to clean water, energy, and sanitation. Featured projects include some sponsored by Architecture for Humanity as well as many others undertaken independently, often against great odds.

Design Like You Give a Damn is an indispensable resource for designers and humanitarian organizations charged with rebuilding after disaster and engaged in the search for sustainable development. It is also a call to action to anyone committed to building a better world.

Book Reviews:

  • “Architecture can save lives” – Newsweek
  • “Design Like You Give A Damn screams its message in its title. Good design is not a luxury, but a necessity.” – The Scotsman, July 15 2006
  • “A welcome manifesto for the kind of problem-solving design approach that conscientious students and practitioners ought to be aspiring to” – RIBA Journal
  • “Arresting… provides an intriguing compendium of designers’ solutions to producing housing structure for displaced and disadvantaged populations” – The Observer, June 17 2006
  • “From the title to the very last word, the book is a rallying cry for rethinking humanitarian assistance and pursuing innovative solutions to contemporary housing crises. Design Like You Give A Damn reads like an encyclopedia of the best humanitarian architecture projects ever created” – Inhabitat, July 6 2006
  • “This book brings forth the values of sustainability and diversity in a beautiful way – values which are as essential to our housing as they are to food we eat.” – Alice Waters, Founder, Chez Panisse Foundation
  • “Anyone pursuing a greater sense of design for people (emphasis here) should read and own this book as if it were their passion’s guiding light.” – Intern Architect
  • “Bursting with intriguing and often beautiful examples of how designers and architects around the world have created innovative housing for those most in need of it. You can’t read it without feeling inspired… both by the individuals concerned, and by the power of design to make a difference.” – Chris Anderson, TEDblog July 13 2006
  • “Design like you give a Damn is truly an important work – its lesson is that architecture and design are not about being on the cover of last week’s New York Times Magazine but about making a difference in people’s lives.” – Lloyd Adler, Treehugger July 6 2006
  • “Thank you for putting together such a work of encouragement, optimism and knowledge!” – Leila Diana Behjat
  • “If you care about the future we’re building, you ought to own a copy of Design Like You Give a Damn” – Alex Steffen, World Changing
  • “Design Like You Give a Damn honors the achievements of humanitarian architects and designers ” – Russell Boniface, Associate Editor, AIArchitect
  • “A book that is lovely in every sense of the word.. …makes clear just how much talent is currently going to waste designing McMansions. ” – Bill McKibben, New York Review of Books November 16th, 2006
  • “Heavy on context and images, light on celebrity names, Design Like You Give a Damn is a bracing reminder that there’s more to architecture than museums and posh private homes. Instead, the founders of the group Architecture for Humanity round up 77 nimble solutions to real-life problems: There are fiberglass domes for the homeless of Los Angeles, a schoolhouse in Burkina Faso with an arced steel roof that insulates the clay brick classrooms below – even a water pump in South Africa that is powered by children playing on a merry-go-round. Truly inspirational. ” – San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, November 19, 2006
  • “…a 336-page love letter to architects worldwide who provide pro-bono design services to communities that have survived war, government oppression and natural disasters. It’s also an antidote to apathy. ” – Leilani Labong, 7X7 San Francisco, October 27th, 2006
  • “Focusing on disaster relief and inexpensive design solutions, this book documents an ideology that justly promotes the global demand for innovation as well as a return to fundamental problem solving. ” – Zachary R. Benedict, Young Architects Forum Book Review, December 21st, 2006
FEATURING WORK BY:
Acumen Fund
Logan Allen
César Añorve
Arup Associates
Stephan Augustin
Barefoot Architects
Peter Brewin and William Crawford
Bustan
Cal-Earth
Center for Community Research and Design
Center for Urban Pedagogy
CHF International
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Common Ground Community
Design Corps
Detroit Collaborative Design Center
East Coast Architects
ELEMENTAL Housing Initiative
Ferrara Design
FTL Design Engineering Studio
Future Systems
Deborah Gans and Matt Jelacic
Grant Gibbs
Vinay Gupta
Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Health Habitat
Heavy Trash
Hierve-Diseñeria
Hole-in-the-Wall Schools
Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects
William Hsu
I-Beam Design
Icosa Village
Intermediate Technology Development Group
Jorge Mario Jáuregui Architects
Justiceville, USA
Diébédo Francis Kéré
KickStart
LA Architects
LILA Design
Lotus Energy
Mad Housers
Montana State University
Native American Photovoltaics
Oxfam
Sergio Palleroni
Potters for Peace
Project Locus
Michael Rakowitz
RBGC Architecture, Research & Urbanism
Red Feather Development Group
Relief International
Roots of Peace
Roundabout Outdoor
Rural Studio
Rafi Segal and Eyal Weizman
SENSEable City Laboratory
Shelter Architecture
Shelter For Life
shelterproject
Shelter Systems
Shigeru Ban Architects
Shrinking Cities
Sphere Project
Strong Angel
Süd-Chemie
Swee Hong Ng
Technical University, Vienna
TechnoCraft
theskyisbeautiful architecture
UNHCR
World Conservation Union
World Shelters

Founded in 1999 by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, Architecture for Humanity is a grassroots nonprofit organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crises. Through design-build programs, competitions, educational forums, and partnerships with community development and relief organizations, Architecture for Humanity creates opportunities for architects and designers from around the world to assist communities in need. Where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable, and collaborative design can make a difference.

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