Architecture for Humanity - SF
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Hello everyone, it’s been awhile, a lot has happened, and a lot has not. Too much to try and fill you in on everything if you haven't been paying attention. But, while Prop A (Affordable Housing Bond) failed recently with the voters here in SF, just barely missing the 2/3rd’s needed, and there is much to lament, the ship still sails on.

I have some news to update you on 'Architecture for Humanity', both from the East Coast and here in SF.

1. SIYATHEMBA: Tackling AIDS and Building Goals in South Africa Design Comp. Finalists Announced.
2. AFH.SF Community Design Event being planned for February ‘05
3. Prison Design Boycott Campaign - ADPSR

1. SIYATHEMBA: Tackling AIDS and Building Goals in South Africa Design Comp. Finalists Announced.

Over the summer Architecture for Humanity hosted an open international design competition to challenge designers to develop a community sports and healthcare facility in Somkhele in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, an area with one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world. Participants were challenged to design a facility for less than $5000 that includes a youth-sized field, sideline benches, and a small clubhouse and changing room, employing sustainable and/or local building material using local labor to realize their design. Two hundred and seventy teams from thirty seven countries answered the call.

Well, nine finalists have been selected and honorable mentions will be announced Friday.

2. AFH.SF Community Design Event being planned for February

In February, the SF Chapter of 'Architecture for Humanity', SFOP (SF Organizing Project), and the SF Coalition on Homelessness ('Right to a Roof'), will be hosting an afternoon community design event as part of the development of 155/165 Grove St, SF near City Hall. This parcel is being considered for a joint low-income housing and arts space project building on the existing Public Arts Commission Space, and will be developed under the city's 'Surplus Land Initiative' passed by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year. Read this article for history of the campaign. Also, if you are a local SF Arts Organization please sign our online petition site to encourage the Board of Supervisors to develop a mixed use housing art space here, as opposed to one or the other.

The event will invite activists, non-profit housing developers, architects, and homeless people to engage in a dialogue to encourage the community's vision for this space. If you have interest in getting involved please contact me.

3. Prison Design Boycott Campaign - ADPSR

It is time to stop building prisons.
Our prison system is both a devastating moral blight on our society and an overwhelming economic burden on our tax dollars, taking away much needed resources from schools, health care and affordable housing. The prison system is corrupting our society and making us more threatened, rather than protecting us as its proponents claim. It is a system built on fear, racism, and the exploitation of poverty. Our current prison system has no place in a society that aspires to liberty, justice, and equality for all.

As architects, we are responsible for one of the most expensive parts of the prison system, the construction of new prison buildings. Almost all of us would rather be using our professional skills to design positive social institutions such as universities or playgrounds, but these institutions lack funding because of spending on prisons. If we would rather design schools and community centers, we must stop building prisons.

Please join members of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) in pledging to not participate in the design, construction, or renovation of prisons. We also invite you to learn more about the prison system, to join us in envisioning more just and productive alternatives to incarceration, and to work towards a society that treats all its members with dignity, equality, and justice. Go here: Prison Design Boycott Campaign And read more here: Campaign in the News

* For additional information about this campaign please email us at prisons@adpsr.org

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