It is a busy week in America. Tomorrow some bloke is giving a speech in a football field, then next week some other guy speaks in some convention center. Kidding aside, if you truly care about the natural and built environment it is vital for you to take note of whose policies will affect the United States. With crumbling education facilities, neglected infrastructure and outdated housing policies, put down your morning coffee and please register to vote.
This week marks the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Many families are still in trailers and crossing their fingers Hurricane Gustav does not hit this weekend (currently projected as a Cat. 3 heading for New Orleans). We are committed to seeing our last projects get built including The Guardians Institute. While there is so much to be done, we'd like to give a special thanks to all those community members and those who came to the coast and helped rebuild. These families would not be home without you.
For everyone working on the Gulf Coast, the last three years have gone by quicker than a Jamaican Olympic track star. We've gotten to know and respect so many of the people and families we worked with in the rebuilding effort. Willie Maes Scotch House restaurant (awesome video), one of the very first projects we helped through a grant to Heritage Conservation Network to preserve this historic property and gathering place, is up and running. We slept on floors, in car parks, in cars (that one made it on Car Talk), in tents and sofas to help families home. All in all thousands of families lives were touched by Architecture for Humanity volunteers, design fellows and architects.
Our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to rebuilding along the Gulf Coast. Here's a few of the projects, made possible by your time and your talents:
Parker Residence, Biloxi, MS by Brett Zamore Design
Desporte Residence, Biloxi, MS by CP+D Workshop
Robinson Residence, Biloxi, MS by Huff & Gooden Architects
Odom Residence, Biloxi, MS by GCCDS with Jeanne Gang Architect
Tyler Residence, Biloxi, MS by Marlon Blackwell Architect
Tran Residence, Biloxi, MS by MC2 Architects
Nguyen Residence, Biloxi, MS by MC2 Architects
Guillen Residence, New Orleans, LA by David Briggs AIA
Mona Lisa Saloy Residence, New Orleans, LA by Maureen Nes, John Dwyer and Tracy Nelson
Ms. Kathy's Laundry Room, Waveland, MS by University of Minnesota
Community Design Studios and Construction Workshops
Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Biloxi, MS led by Mississippi State University
Mike's Construction Workshop, Biloxi, MS led by Mike Grote, Architecture for Humanity and Hands On Network
Hands-On Preservation Workshops, led by Heritage Conservation Network
Design Studio at NENA, New Orleans, LA, led by John Dwyer, AIA
John Henry Beck Red HouseBiloxi, MS by GCCDS and Hand On Network
Biloxi Shade Structure by AFH Austin
Calhoun McCormick Gallery and Studio by Shelter Architecture
Calhoun Residence and Back House by Shelter Architecture
Guardian Institute, New Oreleans, LA by Rockwell Group
Even after completing all these projects, it's humbling to realize how much is left to do. Please take a moment, to help families buy furniture, household goods, and finish rebuilding their lives by making a donation. Note "Gulf Coast" in the designation field and we'll make sure it goes where it should.
Many other groups are also rebuilding on the Gulf Coast and have shared their work on the Open Architecture Network. To see just a few of the projects, see the sidebar to the right.
The Biloxi Model Home Program
Design is only innovative, if it is shared. One of the projects we learned the most from was the Biloxi Model Home Program. So, we thought we'd share some of the hard won lessons of that project in a book. This 100 page book covers the birth, development and construction of the Biloxi Model Homes--from family selection and financing to sheer walls and windows. It's an honest look at what it really takes to rebuild after disaster. The first edition is ONLY available by pre-ordering from our website and newsletter. Proceeds will go towards the rebuilding effort.
Many thanks to all the participants who helped put these lessons on paper. We are grateful to you.
Over the summer we have written a book dedicated to the lessons learned in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and what communities can do to prepare themselves if disaster strikes. The first edition of the book will ONLY be available online and can be pre-ordered below. If Design Like You Give A Damn was a compendium of humanitarian work, this new publication is a field guide manual in getting it done.
As always there are plenty of ways to get involved, volunteer (see below) or donate. Even If you don't have two pennies to rub together, you can help by nominating us for the AmEx Members Project. We need to break the top 25 and we are currently in 33rd place with 990 votes and only 4 days left. So close... ...will we make it?
Finally for those in San Francisco next month we will be holding a design event for kids as part of the Architecture and the City Festival. If you are in San Francisco and have young'ins drop by our office at 848 Folsom St. on September 6th. Cookies and Creativity abound.
All of us at Architecture for Humanity