Architecture for Humanity - SF
Monday, April 05, 2004
Archvoices has posted their review of the recent 'Structures For Inclusion' conference which was held in Atlanta this year, in conjunction with Association For Community Design (ACD). Unfortunately, there are no recorded transcripts being made available, but the archvoices editors have done a nice job recapping the speakers with some provocative quotes. The 04.02.04 review is entitled 'Choosing Relevancy'.

An expert on nonprofit organizations and management, architect Protip Biswas, Director of Community Building & Leadership Development for United Way in Metro Atlanta, warned "In a fiercely competitive resource environment, it's critical for local nonprofits to explore alternative models of operation. Community-based organizations are being asked to become more efficient at the very same time that resources are shrinking."

Additionally, Mr. Biswas recommended forming joint ventures between nonprofits, consulting with one another rather than repeatedly paying for the same studies to be conducted, and sharing staff members for more efficient allocation of resources. This practice leverages existing talent and allows for more growth with limited means. Mr. Biswas also suggested something he calls "contingency consulting," a way in which groups can perform consulting work within related nonprofits to generate income and promote knowledge-sharing. Mr. Biswas asserted that to stay in business, whether nonprofit or for-profit, groups need to recognize the "double bottom line"; there must be a financial return on the investment somewhere and there must be social benefit.

Here are a couple of articles in recent isues of Metropolis featuring Bryan Bell and Design Corps's Migrant Worker House.

And sort of the equivelent of Matt Gonzalez announcing he will not return to the SF Board of Supe's next year in any capacity, in January architect Maurice Cox has announced he will not be returning as Mayor of Charlottesville after his term is up. Maurice Cox is a big commuinty deisgn advocate, and is interested in getting back into his architectural career with RGBC. Charlottesville was voted the best city to live in our country in 2004. This article discusses a mixed-use zoning ordinance which is allowing a remake of Charlottesville's complexion, a legislation Cox seems quite enthused about.

Simon Conder's rubber-clad cottage shows the best way out of our housing crisis, says Jonathan Glancey in a recent UK Guardian article. This is a timber porch tacked onto the front of Ola Mae's run-down trailer in a remote setting in rural Alabama. Here the changes of scale are as surreal as those of Dungeness: the vast Confederate landscape, the tiny trailer homes for the state's poor. The porch's creators, Lucy Begg and Robie Gay, are an Anglo-American student partnership working with the innovative Rural Studio as part of its "outreach programme".

And HERE is some shipping container elegance. And some more.

Others worth checking out:
Architecture of Affordable Housing
Building and Social Housing Foundation
04.08.04 Event: 2004 AIA San Francisco Design Awards Gala


Contra Costa and SF County were top 5 of 13 to win HUD money out of 64 communities that applied. SF is getting $900,000 in homeless aid benefits.

The NLCHP National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has posted a good report: Solutions Through Alternative Remedies: Practical Models to Help End Homelessness

And this Letter to the Editor makes a good and simple point about the type sof alliances we should be focussing on in reaction to the Examiner article.

Regional alliances

Editor -- Regarding "Building alliances on homelessness'' (Editorial, April 1): The Chronicle editorial missed the big idea. The critical alliances that need to be built to address homelessness are not local, but regional -- with our Bay Area sister cities and counties. Homelessness is not a local issue, it is a regional issue.

As San Francisco crafts a comprehensive, responsible, progressive policy on the homeless, and other Bay Area cities and counties do not, the number of San Francisco's homeless will only increase with homeless from those locales. It's a no-brainer. It's time for responsible collaborative regional policy on this critical issue.


Other Links:
Why were the homeless attacked in Fresno last month?
Squatting for Peace

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