Designing a better world - Architecture For Humanity

With my recent blogs about digital worlds, I wanted to take some time to promote those people that are making a difference in our real one. Founded by Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair, Architecture For Humanity (AFH) is a non-profit charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and brings design services to communities in need.

Cameron's outreach can be seen everywhere including interviews on CNN, TED, Sundance Channel (with Cameron Diaz) and his book Design Like You Give A Damn is a great read I highly recommend. Today seemed a great day to blog about this proactive organization as it is the launch week of their 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Design the Classroom of the Future.

We believe that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable and collaborative design can make a difference.
By tapping a network of professionals willing to lend their time and their talents to helping those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, we support community development, help communities rebuild after disaster and provide pro bono design services to community partners around the world. - website

AFH's Open Architecture Network is a free online, open source community dedicated to improving global living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. The aim of the network is to allow architects, designers, innovators and community leaders to share innovative and sustainable ideas, designs and plans. View and review designs posted by others. Collaborate with each other, people in other professions and community leaders to address specific design challenges.

To help these people that are using their powers for awesome the best way we know how, Web3DStudents and other volunteers are helping AFH communicate their message in the 3D web. We are working on a series of interactive informative 3D online scenes where visitors can learn more about their projects, architects involved, sponsors, and local community affected. To stick with their philosophy of "open", we are using the open standard for web3D X3D. Cameron, Kate, and the rest of their SF team have been very supportive and we are excited to be working with them. Here are the current projects in progress:
  • Parker Home - This home designed by architect Bret Zamore is part of the Biloxi Model Home Program supported by Oprah's Angel Network and a handful of other sponsors. Thanks to Eduardo Merta, Mark Damico, Keith Victor, Bret Zamore, and Putheary Mey for all their work so far on the web3D version of this project.

  • Current AFH Office -Architecture For Humanity's office (the Co-lab), is a community office located in San Francisco's SOMA district that houses half a dozen social/environmental purpose organizations and green companies. Thanks to Michael Jones, Phi Phan, and Putheary Mey for their work on this project.

I am looking forward to finishing these projects and getting them online for all to experience. For more information on volunteering 3D modeling/web3D authoring skills or sponsorship for these and future AFH projects, feel free to contact me. It is great to see how we can use 3D web technologies to promote green sustainable design and assist others that are helping those in need.


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