Architecture for Humanity - SF
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Welcome to the AFH.SF Blog site.
Mission Statement Draft:
Architecture for Humanity in San Francisco is committed to engaging projects which merge design and social activism together. We are seeking to bridge a new coalition of architectural activism comprised of local developers, non-profit & community service organizations, political action advocates, legislative analysts, academic partnerships, and an interdisciplinary collective of design experts, so that AFH.SF can serve as a regional locus for socially conscious design practice.
Our mission is currently to understand the manifold issues that have made the crisis of homelessness in the Bay Area the most critical in the nation. In educating ourselves, our aim is to explore projects which can relay our findings to the public in the form of a ‘direct design action'.
In order to strengthen the visibility of SF’s unique political landscape, we are hoping to raise the relevancy of design to a new awareness through developing progressive solutions for the homeless.
Here is a list of some of our agenda items.
1 - AFH Bookmarks: We are finishing up the design and printing of a custom bookmark which advertises AFH and is aimed to be placed in local Arch & Design bookstores around the city. Not only are we placing them by the register but are hoping to have these inserted with purchases and mail orders too.
2 – “Meeting Our Community” : We are in an intensive stage of establishing our local network and meeting as many people possible who are interested or are pursuing contexts related to AFH. In order to interface the types of progressive homeless projects we aim to engage we are busy educating ourselves, meeting local developers, activists, policy makers, AIA reps, etc., and generally trying to pitch AFH.SF to the SF Community as a local architectural activist collective. This has resulted in walking tours of supportive housing units (TNDC), participation in local Housing & Land Use Working Groups (SFGP), etc.
3 – A Survey for Developers: Putting together a survey to hand out to DEVELOPERS so we can gather info from them on how they go about utilizing architects and go about "developing" low income affordable housing or homeless projects, specifically how architects and community members are sought and incorporated into the process.
4 - A Comprehensive Web Project: to associate all of the coalitions, developers, non-profs, organizations, architect/design firms, local policies, news and projects relevant to a regional chapter of Architecture for Humanity. It will focus on bridging an infrastructure currently lacking between the design community and social activists, and establish a new network to help centralize the fragmented factions of the local architectural activism movement here. To include profiles of all Bay area “socially conscious” architects, community designers, etc, and a searchable database which can help activists locate these types of projects and those who have developed them. End goal: to create a hub site for future progressive homeless projects.
5 – Homeless Donation & Info Kiosks: In lieu of Prop M which just passed here outlawing “aggressive panhandling” I am exploring a possible project for a homeless kiosk initiative. The hope being that while Prop M will be a divisive tool to eliminate panhandlers from the streets the city needs to give something back to acknowledge the needs of panhandlers. These kiosks would opt for a new organization which would employ homeless people to man these kiosks, to provide Homeless News sheets, advocacy group info and contacts, and allow in a dignified manner panhandlers to collect donations. The project explores the perceptions and negative stigmas that are attached to the interface of typical hand outs and would invite people to give money on the premise that their handouts would go to an organization which would redistribute the collections to homeless people in the form of food & service vouchers. The kiosks are also an attempt to invite homeless people into a working program who are more skeptical of civic programs in their current degraded state.
6 – Homeless Seminar & Workshop: I am currently part of a Housing & Land Use Working Group for the SF Green Party and we are organizing a series of Housing Seminar Workshops for the following months this year. I am in charge of one dedicated to homelessness. My goal is to coordinate activists and speakers Paul Boden, Randy Shaw (and others), along with a media installation of panels, slides, detailing some of the most effective and progressive solutions to homelessness being practiced in cities around the country. The AFH.SF Chapter is intensely trying to become educated about this issue, and hope to affect policy as much as shelter.
* Contact Info: Bryan Finoki or ‘Bfunk’ – firstname.lastname@example.org, phone # 415.846.9422