Public Interest Design
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July 29, 2014

Al Jazeera Announces ‘Rebel Architecture’ Series


Premiering on August 18th, a new six-part series on ‘Rebel Architecture’ features architects who are “shunning the glamour of ‘starchitecture’ and using design to tackle the world’s urban, environmental and social crises.” Created and produced by Daniel Davies for Al Jazeera English, each half-hour documentary uncovers the work of six architects tackling pressing issues head on. “This series challenges our conceptions of architecture and design, and the way we cover them in the media”, said Giles Trendle, Director of Programmes at Al Jazeera English. “With surprising and inspiring stories from all over the world, it’s completely unlike any other programme on architecture.” Launching on Mondays at 10:30pm GMT, each episode will air 8 times throughout the week of transmission and will be archived on YouTube.

Week of August 18, 2014
Guerrilla Architecton Santiago Cirugeda
Santiago Cirugeda is a legend of Spanish self-build but can his collective approach turn an abandoned factory into a vibrant cultural centre?

Week of August 25, 2014
A Traditional Future on Yasmeen Lari
Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari uses traditional building techniques to rebuild villages in the flood damaged Sindh Valley.

Week of September 1, 2014
The Architecture of Violenceon Eyal Weizman
Eyal Weizman explains architecture’s key role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the evolution of urban warfare.

Week of September 8, 2014
Greening the City” on Vo Trong Nghia
Vo Trong Nghia attempts to return greenery to Vietnam’s choking cities and design cheap homes for those excluded from Vietnam’s rapid growth.

Week of September 15, 2014
Reality Biteson Kunlé Adeyemi
Nigerian Architect Kunlé Adeyemi sets out to solve the issues of flooding and overcrowding in Nigeria’s waterside slums with floating buildings.

Week of September 22, 2014
The Pedreiro and the Master Planneron Ricardo
Ricardo makes his living as an informal builder in Rio’s Rocinha; but the government has a different plan for the future of the favelas.

Click here to follow @RebelArchitects on Twitter or use #rebelarchitecture to be part of the discussion.

July 29, 2014

ArchDaily: “Introducing Potty-Girl” Julia King


ArchDaily writer Vanessa Quirk recently interviewed architect Julia King, the “Potty-Girl” who has made recent headlines with the 2014 AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Award and a 2014 SEED Award. In the interview King speaks about how she became involved in sanitation projects, her experience–and challenges with–the work, and the essential relationship she has built with Indian NGO Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE). As a true pioneer in public interest design, her insights are not to be missed.

I could have ended up building a library or a bus stand but what was most needed was sewerage – to do what the community couldn’t do themselves so they could get on with what they do very well, which is making towns-through-houses. So in this sense I never decided to become ‘potty-girl’ – that happened by accident. And now I find that I stumbled into one of the biggest issues facing India today. And now sanitation for me isn’t just about shit, but it is a woman’s issues and something I have become really passionate about. So I think my inspiration comes from exposure to people and their hopes/aspirations.

Click here to read “Introducing “Potty-Girl,” The Architect of the Future?,” online at

July 28, 2014

Help Reveal the “Hidden Treasures of Our Orange”

Five train stops outside of New York City in northern New Jersey, residents of Orange are on a mission to reshape their city’s perception through storytelling. The University of Orange–a free people’s university that builds collective capacity for people to create more equitable cities–is organizing the project to collect and document stories of the place and culture of Orange with local youth. The team is aiming to raise $53,000 by September 10th to share the stories on a website and through a film to reveal the overlooked but exceptional “Hidden Treasures of Our Orange.”

Like many industrial cities in the US, Orange lost its way when the factories left. The great urban planner Ron Shiffman told us, “Communities are built on memory.  It becomes the foundation for the future.”  In making this website and film, we are creating a solid foundation for a future as an equitable and fun city.

Click here to learn more and support Hidden Treasures of Our Orange, online at

July 25, 2014

AfH Completes 20 Football for Hope Centres


The six-year project to complete 20 Football for Hope Centres has come to completion for Architecture for Humanity. In 2008, AfH joined forces with streetfootballworld to build 20 community centres in 15 African countries to address education and public health issues by using football as a tool for social development. Working hand in hand with teams of local consultants and designers, AfH developed unique designs to fit the local context and needs of the local community. With the completion of all centres, over 20,215 children are now actively involved in sports and after school programs where they can safely play, socialize and learn in their community. AfH Regional Program Manager Darren Gill had this to say about the impact of the program:

“Football For Hope creates positive social legacy from the world’s favorite sport by breaking down social barriers and training the next generation. The unique design approach to every centre in our program allowed each community to integrate their own identity, which may be the greatest asset in the years to come. I sincerely hope others can learn from these successes and hopefully replicate similar programs in the future.”

Click here to read more about the Football for Hope Centres, online at

July 24, 2014

Introducing Active Social Architecture Studio


The rich colors of the building, earth, and landscape of the Pre-Primary School by Active Social Architecture Studio (ASA) recently caught our attention on ArchDaily. Established by two architects–Tomà Berlanda and Nerea Amorós Elorduy–in Kigali, Rwanda, the young practice is working with local and international organizations to build spaces that improve people’s livelihoods, empower communities, and strengthen their sense of identity. With ten impressive projects in their portfolio thus far, the pre-primary school project has big aims to set the Rwandan standards for pre-primary facilities by using materials and construction to engage kids in self-learning and stimulation.

Projects and built works reflect ASA’s belief in the richness and complexity of schemes drawn from, and responding to, the specificities of sites, programs and users bringing innovation through spatial composition, and the adaptive use of local materials and techniques. Architecture is understood as a creative means to problem solving, providing cost effective solutions that are attractive, affordable and improve upon the existing environment.

Click here to read more about ASA, online at

July 24, 2014

$5 Million Awarded to NEA Our Town Projects


The fourth annual Our Town grant program has announced 66 arts-based community development projects that will receive a cumulative total of $5.07 million. The grantees fall into two categories: arts engagement activities with an artistic production focus, like M12 Collective’s Action on the Plains, and design and cultural planning to develop support systems and infrastructure, like the Beltline in Atlanta. Since 2011, Our Town has awarded over $21 million to 256 projects that are authentic, equitable, and augment existing local assets–all contributing to stronger communities in cities and rural areas around the nation.

“The NEA is leading a national conversation around how to do community development where the arts play a central role in bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to positively impact residents and visitors alike,” said Chairman Jane Chu. “Through Our Town funding and our related White House and interagency partnerships, the NEA and its grantees are working together to continue positioning arts organizations as community leaders.”

Click here to read about the 2014 Our Town grant recipients, online at

July 23, 2014

Participate in Our First Reader Survey


Our small but mighty team here at is preparing for a big transition to the Impact Design Hub–an expanded website featuring original articles, infographics, videos, and a huge directory of resources. But before we get too far into planning, we need your help in shaping it.

We have put together a 7-minute survey to hear about what you want to learn more about, how you prefer to receive our news, and what you need to do your work better. Ultimately, our goal is to get to know you better so we can tailor and curate our content to suit your needs. The survey will be open for two weeks and all responses will need to be in by August 6th.

We truly value your insights, opinions, and continual support of and the soon-to-be Impact Design Hub. Thank you in advance for your participation in helping grow the dialogue around design for a better world!

- The and Autodesk Foundation team

Click here to participate in the survey, online at

July 23, 2014

Today: Hangout with MASS and D-Rev


At 12pm PT/ 3pm ET today, the Autodesk Foundation’s Director Joe Speicher will host a Google Hangout with team members from grantee organizations MASS Design Group and D-Rev. This is an opportunity for the two nonprofits to share highlights from their work, discuss their role within the communities they serve and also talk more broadly about the impact of design. Join the first-ever Autodesk Foundation Hangout session today to hear more from D-Rev’s ReMotion Product Manager Vinesh Narayan and MASS Design Group’s Manager Patricia Gruits.

Click here to register and attend the first Autodesk Foundation Google Hangout, online at

July 23, 2014

Future Innovators Design Vehicles for Change


Our next generation of innovators–children–have designed vehicles to alleviate global issues for the Dream Car Art Contest, a collaborative campaign between Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon and Toyota. This year, 660,000 kids ages 4 to 15 from over 75 countries submitted their drawings of future vehicles and the results are inventive, progressive, and heartwarming. The judges have selected 90 semi-finalists whose drawings have been developed into delightful six-second animated Vine videos at the Dream Car of the Day Campaign. Here is a sampling of our favorites that are addressing issues around overpopulation, recycling, pollution, and happiness:

Euphory Car by Ema Lavrikova, age 14, Slovak Republik
If it sucks in smog, it will be in a good mood.

Solving Population Explosion on Earth by Nireka Singh, age 7, South Africa
My car is uniquely built with special engine that does an unusual job by transporting house from earth to planet mars to relieve over-population. As soon as a community is established further building of house could commence right on that planet. We may need to find out who is going to be the president???

Swallows Broken Plastics Into Building Blocks by Sumeeth Singh, age 10, South Africa
As mentioned my car devours any broken plastic items and turn them into good building blocks that can be used for housing purposes. We clear the beach areas, parks and gardens, river banks and even along the roadside to keep our environment clean. Irresponsible people continue pumping these broken items all over the place.

Love & Peace Car by Sirirot Khotuaongsa, age 15, Thailand
I just love to see the world filled with only love, happiness and peace. No sufferings for anyone and everyone is willing to share as well as be kind to one another. In this way, we all could live in harmony.

Click here to see all of the Dream Car of the Day semi-finalists, online at

July 22, 2014

Apply for The Lighthouse Design Impact Award


The Lighthouse–a Mackintosh-designed building housing Scotland’s Center for Design and Architecture–has opened up submissions to the second bi-annual Design Impact Award. Launched in 2012, the award aims to recognize the impacts that completed projects have had on the way we live and work. With support from Creative Scotland and Glasgow City Council, award winners will receive a prize of £5,000 along with a feature place in a public exhibition with shortlisted entries. Applications are due Friday, September 5th, 2014.

The Lighthouse is a visitor centre, exhibition space and events venue situated in the heart of Glasgow, just off the Style Mile. The Lighthouse acts as a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland and promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events.

Click here to learn more and apply for The Lighthouse Design Impact Award, online at


Autodesk Foundation is an evolving resource of the Autodesk Foundation, a first-of-its-kind foundation focused on design for a better world.



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