July 25, 2011
On Friday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) published “Beyond Disaster Mitigation,” its latest in a series of podcasts on the practice of architecture. This one is unique and noteworthy in that it profiles the work of two architects, Stacey McMahon and Eric Cesal, who have been living and work on the ground in Port-au-Prince, on behalf of Architecture for Humanity, in the wake of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti. McMahon’s post with AFH was co-sponsored the AIA and the U.S. Green Building Council; she took a leave from her position as a principal at Koch Hazard Architects in Sioux Falls, S.D., for one year to work directly with the Haitian community on rebuilding efforts. A self-described “wandering misadventurer” in the fields of architecture, construction, and writing, Cesal is the author of Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice (MIT Press, 2010). Both have worked out of AFH’s Haiti Rebuilding Center.
Available in multiple formats and moderated by Michael Crosbie, PhD, the 18 min. podcast is well worth a listen. The video above, also featuring McMahon and Cesal, is part of an in-depth Open Architecture Network profile of the Ceverine School, a project AFH became involved in, having been asked to visit and evaluate a school run by Save the Children. The school been under construction for several years, and was finally completed with the help of AFH, according to the profile.