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After The Storm: Katrina 10 Years Later

Katrina

From cataclysm to catalyst, Hurricane Katrina affected individuals, communities, and ultimately our nation in profound and innumerable ways. Ten years after the storm, Next City marks its anniversary through the voices of ten residents who share their experiences and efforts to cope with and create change around the circumstances created or simply exposed by Katrina.

“We chose to mark the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this way because it would be impossible for one story to encompass the myriad experiences and truths that underlay New Orleans’ rebound from what can only be described as a complete failure of local and federal government systems and policies. There is no single metric that can measure the ongoing evolution of a city and no one voice that should be privileged in the recounting of something as complex as post-disaster recovery.”

Progress has not always been linear and has taken on different meanings for different people. From criminal justice to housing discrimination, K-12 education to the environment, these stories run the gamut from hope to despair. But it is vital that they be heard.

Click here to read the full series on Next City.

Photo by AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Architecture for Humanity Chapter Network is Rebranding and Wants Your Input

AFH_Network

The group formerly know as the Architecture for Humanity Chapter Network, has decided to find a new name for itself. Now that they have done significant work transitioning from a group of chapters to a collectively mobilized and collaboratively led network, they will surface a new banner to rally under, and they want your voice in creating this name.

The network’s existence proves that the most resilient aspect about the old AFH organization are the people. Inspired to deliver on the mission of needs based, participatory design these volunteers remain as steadfast as ever, maybe even more so, working to create more opportunities within the design and AEC professions for humanitarian work. Moving forward they will form a 501(3)c nonprofit in the US and operate to support the professional development of their members, and the incubation of new chapters as sustainable business models for humanitarian design practice.

This network belongs to anyone who believes in the power of design to have a massive impact on the way we build and are represented in this world. To capture the essence of how you want to see this new organization they are running a campaign to have people record their answers to key questions about our collective efforts.

Click here to voice your opinion for the new AFH in this 15 minute survey.

Beyond the Cafeteria – A School Designed to Fight Obesity

Buckingham_Elementary

Despite widespread awareness of the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic, there has been little success in affecting healthy and lasting change. Initiatives like longer gym classes, nutrition classes, and mandatory standing desks have failed to turn back the tide. But what if the design of a school itself could be used to prevent obesity? The redesigned Buckingham Elementary School in Virginia does exactly that.

“The architects worked directly with public health researchers to change a long list of details based on current research, from designing a kitchen with dedicated storage space for local, seasonal fruit, to placing healthy meals at kids’-eye level in the checkout line. In a teaching kitchen, third-graders can learn to make healthy meals from the foods they grow in the school garden …. Beyond the healthy eating interventions, the school was also designed to keep kids more active, with features like inviting stairways, walking paths, and furniture that flexes as students sit, so they aren’t completely still.”

From colors to materials, furniture to layout, the entire building is a classroom. This new frontier in design-centered health intervention in an academic setting, instills the lessons of healthy living for life.

Click here to read the full article Fast Company.

Photo by Tom Daly.

“Lilongwe women leveling inequality in construction”

LikuniMeadows

In Lilongwe, Malawi, women are stepping up and staking their claim as contractors. At this point, 30 women have constructed over 200 units for a large scale affordable housing development called Likuni Meadows. In an article on URB.im, they describe these women as not being credited engineers or project managers.

“ Instead, they are ordinary mothers and grandmothers, many of whom were not able to complete their schooling. They all share financial discipline, work ethic, and the ability to think outside the box.”

They have worked very hard to climb up the ladder within their informal settlements of Lilongwe to get to this point. The female contractors collect five percent of the construction cost and have typically invested this money back into their families.

Click here to read the full article on URB.im

Photo by Reall/Mikel Fleming

2015 INDEX: Awards Bestowed Upon 5 Projects Designed to Improve Life

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Last night in Helsingør, Denmark, over 1,300 people gathered to celebrate the 2015 INDEX: Award winners, a prestigious biennial design award that began in 2005. Representing the best in design “as a tool to address the world’s biggest challenges,” five projects were selected to each receive €100,000 cash prize from a record-breaking pool of 1,123 applicants from 72 countries. Join us in honoring this year’s winners, and don’t miss out on exploring all 41 finalists (including Better Shelter and Divine Divas, which were featured in our Pathways to Practice series!) More

Free Course on How to Successfully Network

acumen

The idea of networking tends to conjure up visions of “awkward mingling.” +Acumen and the Center for Creative Leadership have partnered to create a free 4 hour course addressing just this. Acumen believes that in order to make great change one needs great collaboration. The course “Networking Leadership 101: Building Your Core Professional Network,” is offering some core tips and tricks to getting over the networking hurdle. Some key learning outcomes include:

  • Understand the 3 key characteristics of effective networks and 5 network “traps” to avoid
  • Map and diagnose your individual network using the Leadership Diagnostic tool and other visualization platforms
  • Visualize and collaboratively assess your organizational or team network to see key trends and gaps
  • Plot 3 specific ways you can cross a network boundary, make a new introduction, and deepen an existing relationship

This free course is available from September 22- October 21 2015. All you need is a computer and approximately four hours to complete the course.

Click here to read the full description of the course.

“Impactful Business Models in Architecture”

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‘The State of Practice’ is the focus of the AIA Young Architects Forum’s recent issue of Connection released last week. Available online for free, editor Jeff Pastva curated a solid sixteen pages on business models in architecture–a topic that compliments our current feature series on Pathways to Practice. Our own editor Katie Crepeau collaborated with verynice’s Matthew Manos to share socially-engaged practices in “Impactful Business Models in Architecture” through highlighting the online resource Models of Impact.

Last year, Matthew and his colleagues at verynice launched the Models of Impact website to share their findings and help more social entrepreneurs and designers understand the variety of social impact business model out there. The interactive map highlights over 100 brands and documents 45 thriving business models in both product- and service-oriented industries… Although it has attracted primarily startup incubation programs, coworking communities, academic institutions, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofit directors, Models of Impact can easily be applied to the architecture field in two ways: for architectural practices and for their client work and projects.

Read the full article on how architects (and designers) can use Models of Impact for their own practices, accompanied by three case studies of thriving practices, on Issuu here.

How to Get a Job in Impact Design

John Peterson, Founder and President of Public Architecture and recently appointed Curator of the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, has played a central role in the public interest design movement for over a decade. In a recent interview with Impact Design Hub’s Blaze Gonzalez and Gilad Meron, John shared his views on what the future of impact design looks like, where the jobs are and what skills designers will need to get those jobs. The video above scratches the surface of how to find a job in impact design and Gilad’s interview below takes a deeper dive into how John believes social impact design can be applied to any project, anywhere, by any firm, simply by analyzing six categories of impact.

Gilad Meron: Last year at Design Futures you gave a presentation about career paths in impact design. In particular, you spoke about what types of skills you thought students would need to find jobs in this field and you challenged them to think about alternative ways to gain those skills. What did you hope attendees would take away from that?

John Peterson: I could sense there was a lot of frustration and anxiety around the fact that there aren’t many jobs available in this field… it can be kind of paralyzing, people focused simply on that one question: where are the jobs? I really felt that was the wrong question. This field is too emergent to expect a tiered system of jobs and job tracks. It just doesn’t exist yet and you should stop waiting for it. More

Designing Here/Now at 2015 Core77 Conference

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Core77 will be hosting it’s second annual conference in downtown Los Angeles around the theme “DESIGNING HERE/NOW.” From October 22nd to 24th, 22 speakers will be sharing work around four themes: Collaboration, Making, Business, and the Future. Hear from notable impact designers Matthew Manos of verynice, Tanya Aguiñiga, Gadi Amit of NewDealDesign, John Bielenberg of Future Partners, and Sly Lee of The Hydrous (also an Autodesk Foundation grantee.) Tickets are currently on sale at earlybird pricing, which ends August 31st.

This year’s conference is an exploration of the forces, relationships, technologies and ideas that are driving contemporary design into the future. We’ve worked to make DESIGNING HERE/NOW an experience that offers inspiration, practical know-how and an opportunity to connect over great food and drinks with the insiders of L.A.’s design community.

Click here to learn more and register to attend 2015 Core77 Conference, online at Core77.com/Conference.

“Using Social Incubation to Drive Local Innovation”

SocialInnovation

In Standard Social Innovation Review, Teresa Chahine and Gabriel Seidman wrote an article highlighting inclusive models for social innovation. They point out a number of new models for social startups and community developing emerging out of necessity from the paradoxical situations that local entrepreneurs often face. In Chahine and Seidman’s words:

“We believe that the solutions with the greatest potential for creating lasting change in a community are those that develop within that community. The greatest obstacles to catalyzing these locally led solutions are social, logistical, and financial.”

They go on to provide potential solutions and examples of organizations forging new models. For example, Alfanar which is the very first Arab venture philanthropy firm seeking to fund and train “hidden” social entrepreneurs engaging marginalized communities.

Click here to read the full article on Standard Social Innovation Review