2009: Building Change Across The Globe

The 2009 Year In Review
It has been a busy twelve months in our office but even more so in the field. Turning ten this year allowed us a moment of reflection but as Henry Kaiser once said, ”When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” Therefore we’ve continued to work tirelessly to design and build stronger and more sustainable communities through the power of thoughtful and innovative architecture.

On December 5th we saw the opening of yet another building, the Khayelitsha Football for Hope Centre, the first of many youth sports facilities built as legacy projects for the 2010 World Cup*. Below is a list of all the projects we’ve worked on this year. They involved dozens of architects and building professionals and hundreds of local construction workers. We are truly proud of all of them.

It is only because of the dedication of our partners and our donors that we are able to achieve this level and quality of work. For the first time in our history we had projects under construction on every corner of the globe.

To all who contributed in 2009, thank you.

Completed Projects

Khayelitsha Football for Hope Centre
Location: Khayelitsha, South Africa
Client: Grassroot Soccer
Design Team: ARG Design (Architect of Record) Eugene da Silva (Regional Program Manager), Kimberley O’Dowd (Program Manager), Sarah Rowden, Oana Stanescu, and Christine Lara (Design Fellows)
Now open, the facility is the first of many Football for Hope Centres, the ’20 Centres for 2010′ legacy project for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The project team were joined by co-founder Kate Stohr and our new Africa regional design director Kevin Gannon at the launch. Learn more.

Biloxi Model Homes
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Clients: Desporte, Nguyen, Odom, Parker, Robinson, Tran and Tyler families
Project Partners: Hope Community Development Agency and Oprah’s Angel Network
Design Team: Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Studio Gang, Huff & Gooden, Marlon Blackwell Architect, Brett Zamore Design, CP+D Workshop, MC2 architects (Architects) and Paul Hendershot Design (Landscape Architect) with Kimberley O’Dowd (Program Manager), Michael Grote, Sherry-Lea Bloodworth, John Dwyer, Tommy Calhoun, Nicole Joslin, Nicole Nowak, Brandon Milling, Nadene Mairesse and many, many others.After four years we have completed our work rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. While we were involved in the restoration of hundreds of homes and the building of community services, it was the Biloxi Model Home Program that was the highlight of our work. The last of these homes, the Porchdog by Marlon Blackwell, finished early in the fall and rounded out a highly rewarding record of work done by dozens of professional firms since the storm. It was our great pleasure and honor to work alongside the many partners, especially the fine work of David Perkes and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio Learn more.

Alternative Masonry Unit – Domestic Beta

Location: Oakland, California
Client: City Slickers
Design Team: Michael Jones & Nathaniel Corum (Designers), Marisha Farnsworth & Jeremy Fisher (Material Researchers and Construction Captains)
In 2009 we developed a village-scale block process and matrix of
open-source recipes featuring agricultural and industrial byproducts. After months in the lab researching and testing blocks, 2 stabilized earth block mixes were developed and close to 200 blocks were hand-made on site in West Oakland. Tasty vegetables are already growing in our custom-designed raised planter beds at href=’http://www.cityslickerfarms.org/index.htm’>’City Slicker Farms’. Early next year we will publish and open-source manual for AMU construction on the Open Architecture Network. Learn more.

Skateistan Youth Sports Center
Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Client: Skateistan
Partner: Nike Gamechangers
Design Team: Convic Design (Architect of Record), Michael Jones and Elaine Uang (Program Managers)
With the help of Nike GameChangers, Skateistan opened Afghanistan’s first co-educational skateboarding school, engaging growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment programs Learn more.

Nadukuppam Colony Womens’ Center and Balwadi

Location: Nadukuppam, Tamil Nadu, India
Design Team: Purnima McCutcheon
Nadukuppam Colony Womens’ Center and Balwadi (NCWCB) is located about 130 km south of Chennai, in the Kaliveli Bioregion, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Next to the colony temple and adjacent to a large banyan tree, the new NCWCB stands proud, a symbol of the efforts of the community in realizing their dream. Learn more.

Pillaichavady Kuppam Community Center

Design Team: Purnima McCutcheon
The Pillaichavady Kuppam Community Center includes 2 buildings, a Multi-Purpose Community Hall; and a building housing the Women’s Self Help Group office, a Youth/Children’s room (for a Children’s Parliament), a library and a renovated public toilet block about a 100 meters from the Community Center. As the first public building for the community, the center serves as a focal point of celebration and learning for the community. Learn more.

Thirukannur Women’s Cooperative

Design Team: Purnima McCutcheon

The Center is a small covered space for nurturing the Women’s Self Help Group’s and their projects, including a tailoring center as an economic boost to the village. The Thirukannur community also needed the space to serve as a place for occasional community celebrations. On average 30 women use this center to further their livelihood and occasional celebrations allow up to 85 people to use the center. Learn more.

Kutamba AIDS Orphans School

Location: Bikongozo, Uganda
Design Team: Matt Miller (Design Fellow)
Project Partner: Project H Design
In January 2009 the new school opened and the whole school body moved from a two room borrowed shack to a well furnished, complete school building that will stand into the students’ old age. Currently the school has 120 students from grade primary 1-4. The school employs a nurse, 3 teaching staff, a headmaster, and cooks to prepare the breakfast and lunch meals. Learn more.

Navajo Straw Bale Housing

Location: Navajo Nation – remote sites in AZ and NM
Design Team: Nathaniel Corum (Architect of Record)
These homes and a number of building components grew out of a participatory design process with Navajo communities in the American Southwest. Facilitated by Indigenous Community Enterprises and design consultant Nathaniel Corum, this collaboration with Navajo elders and other tribal members produced a range of culturally-appropriate home designs. Eight were built and 4 in development in 2009. The homes use straw-bale, Structural Insulated Panel systems (SIPs) and tribal forestry products. A new phase of super-insulated houses are anticipated for Spring 2010—including off-grid, solar straw-bale hogans. Learn more.

Under Construction

Mukuru kwa Njenga Technology Center and Media Lab

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Design Team: Planning Systems (Architect of Record), The Global Studio (Concept Designers) and Isaac Mugumbule (Design Fellow)
It has been a long and hard process but in November we cleared the hurdles needed to move from design to built solution. SIDAREC is also in the process of raising the needed funds to get Ghetto FM up and running at the center before we complete construction. Help raise the radio. Learn more.

Mahiga High Rainwater Court

Design Team: Greg Elsner (Design Fellow)
With approvals in place and support from project partners Nike GameChangers The Nobelity Project and 50×15 the ‘Net Positive’ Rainwater Court is on track to break ground by the first of the year Learn more.


Location: Pacific Ocean
Cabin Design Team: Nathaniel Corum and Michael Jones
In 2009 design completed for the Plastiki cabin. Sea trials are under way in December 2009. Preparations are being made for a Pacific transect in early 2010. Attention is now focused on activation and testing of off-grid water, waste, power, garden, propulsion, communications and navigation systems. Looking forward to the Pac Rim Studio (Spring 2010) that will celebrate the Expedition’s route by collaborating with architecture programs across the Pacific to address ocean and tropical challenges. Learn more.

In Development

Guardians Institute

Design Team: Jens Holm, Rockwell Group
Our last project in New Orleans is turns out to be the toughest to get funded. The beautiful design by Jens Holm of Rockwell Group is coupled with a superb landscaping scheme by Olin. While still in development the facility will be listed as a UNESCO site. The Institute has raised 15% of the funds to build the center over the last year. We, like its’ founder Herreast Harrison, will stay focused on making this vision a reality. Learn more.

Football for Hope Centre Mali

Client: Association Malienne pour la Promotion de la Jeune et de la Femme
Design Team: M. Youseff Berthe (Architect of Record) and Michael Heublein (Design Fellow)
The Football for Hope site is located in a rural context in the Baguineda area. The center is located on a main road extending from Bamako to Banquieda and hopes to be a catalyst for development. AMPJF promotes and supports the role of girls and women in the community. Curved forms are used for the design to focus on the softness and gentleness portrayed in feminine life. These curved forms sweep through or around every building and space, holding each element together. This is inspired by the role of the mother as the cement of the family. Learn more.

Haruma Football for Hope Centre

Location: Haruma, Nairobi, Kenya
Client: MYSA
Design Team: Andrew Gremley (Architect of Record), Dr. Alfred Omenya (Environmental Consultant) and Isaac Mugumbule (Design Fellow)
TEXT TO GO HERE. Learn more.

Football for Hope Centre Ghana (Play Soccer)

Client: Play Soccer
Design Team Joe Addo, Constructs LLC (Architect of Record)
TEXT TO GO HERE. Learn more.

Football for Hope Centre Namibia

Client: Special Olympics – Namibia
Design Team Nina Maritz and Paul Munting (Architects of Record)
TEXT TO GO HERE. Learn more.

Football for Hope Centre Rwanda

Client: Esperance
Design Team:
Esperance has used football as a unifying element between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups. Learn more.

Homeless World Cup Legacy Project, Brazil

Client: Homeless World Cup
Design Team: APPLY TODAY!
Combining the forces of Nike Gamechangers, the Homeless World Cup, Bola Pra Frente and OCAS in the heart of the Santa Cruz, Rio de Janiero Learn more.

Bhawani Orphanage

Client: Miracle Foundation
Design Team: Sarika Jhawar (Designer), Joyce Engebretsen (Program Lead)
Concept Drawings have been reviewed by the Miracle Foundation and the Orphanage Administrators and Sarika and team have been busy investigating materials, craftsman in the Bhawanipur area and building scale models. On track to get early designs in for local review and begin construction in early March. Learn more.

Cyclone Nargis Rebuilding in Myanmar

Client: ASEAN
Design Team:
Architecture for Humanity has been working with a number of construction and design professionals from Myanmar and Thailand to respond to rebuilding after Cyclone Nargis. Working with ASEAN, a team engaged in community design workshops in the village of Nyaung Wine to do preliminary site analysis and develop designs for several community structures. Learn more.

Green Charter School Facility Guide

Client: NCB Capital Impact
Design Team: Sumita Mukherjee (Designer), Joyce Engebretsen (Program Lead)
Architecture for Humanity is partnering with NCB Capital to create a step-by-step guide for charter schools seeking to integrate green elements into their school facilities. The guide will be a supplement to NCB’s charter school guide, The Answer Key: How to Plan, Develop, and Finance Your Charter School Facility. Learn more.

Teton Valley Community School

Client: Teton Valley Community School
Design Team BC Workshop (architect of record) and Section Eight Design (concept designers)
Teton Valley Community School has partnered with MEP, Civil, and Structural consultants and is moving toward wrapping up Design Development. The goal is to have a bid set/permit set of by March, 2010. Learn more.

Building Tomorrow Uganda School

Location: Rural Uganda
Client: Building Tomorrow
Design Team Gifford LLC
Architecture for Humanity Design Fellow, Isaac Mugumbule just completed site drawings of the site in Nakaseeta, Uganda and the Gifford design team is planning to visit the site for 4-5 weeks in early 2010. Design Development is underway. Learn more.


2009 Open Architecture Competition: Classroom
Winner: Teton Valley Community School
Design Team Section Eight Design, Victor, Idaho
In 2009 we launched the Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom to focus the worlds’ attention on the need for innovative and sustainable classrooms. Over 10,000 students, teachers and design professionals collaborated to come up with some groundbreaking designs. After a long jury process we eventually selected a site winners, finalists and honorable mentions. In the next year we will try to build as many of these as possible Learn more.

The Community Prize
Winner: Seth Shannon, Des Moines, Iowa
In honor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday, Google SketchUp partnered with The Guggenheim Museum to launch a competition to design a simple shelter. While it is a great creative initiative, it could go one step further by challenging participants to design with purpose. We upped the ante by urging entrants to add a social component to the competition and asking them to select a community that could utilize the developed design to improve their living standard. Learn more.

Publications in Development

Design Like You Give a Damn 2
Client: various
Editing Team: Satu Jackson, Kate Stohr, Cameron Sinclair and Architecture for Humanity
Architecture for Humanity is looking for nominations that highlight breakthrough design solutions with the power and potential to improve our lives and the world. These designs may improve the human spirit, increase awareness of the environment, or respond to areas of need in the world, whether to provide shelter and clean water or address climate change and humanitarian crises. Learn more.

On the Boards for 2010

We have a number of projects in development that may move into design phase in 2010. Beyond projects already listed these include school building in Indonesia, Peru, The Philippines and Uganda; A Youth Center in Haiti; A Coastal Access and Restoration landscape Project in Southern California; A Research project on temporary housing for migrants workers; Launch of the Chapter Network (see below); Eight more homes for the Navajo Nation, the launch of the Plastiki and a design studio that connects architecture students across the Pacific Rim.


With more than 60 chapters world wide, Architecture for Humanity members continue to provide innovative design solutions for their own communities. The dedicated engagement of these professionals and local stakeholders remains one of the most visible aspects of our organization. Our most active chapters have been involved this year in a wide variety of projects, including design competitions, participation in TEDx presentations, traveling exhibitions and creative workshops.

This year we welcome a few new additions to our our chapter family: Adelaide (Australia), Amman (Jordan), Boise (Idaho), Istanbul (Turkey), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Athens (Greece) and Sioux Falls (South Dakota). We’ve also seen renewed efforts on the part of some chapters, including Seattle, Detroit and Portland.

In the coming weeks, we will be launching our new Chapters Network web site, a platform dedicated to better support our vast network of chapter members. This new site will become the central meeting point for all our chapters, enabling them to post their events and on-going projects as well as to communicate and share design ideas between one another. We are truly proud and thankful of every chapter member involved in furthering the Architecture for Humanity mission.

Advocacy and Recognition

Big news for 2009 was the relaunch of the Architecture for Humanity website. This new site, developed and built by our noble web team, allows us to update and highlight projects while still project managing them on the Open Architecture Network (some sort of fancy push/pull technology that we don’t ask questions about). We are excited to see the added features coming in 2010 and hope you will too. We also joined Twitter early in the year and revamped our presence on Facebook.

In January we spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as participated in workshops on affordable housing and on educational facilities. In April we celebrated our tenth year with a party at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. In July and October we attended events at the White House and US Senate. In November we spoke at the Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom and our co-founders were jointly recognized by Royal Society of Arts with the 2009 Bicentenary Medal in London.

Speaking engagements and design workshops included events in Baltimore, Bangkok, Bergen, Caracas, Copenhagen, Doha, Fargo, Hong Kong, Liverpool, London, New Haven and Sao Paulo. Huge thanks to all who invited us to be part of your events. As always, 100% of all honorariums are donated towards making our projects happen and our organization grow.

*To celebrate the fate of the draw Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) are busy organizing a viewing party for USA vs. England in Washington DC. Stay tuned!