The role of architecture is often focused on for design and construction, important vehicles for enlarging and elevating our worlds.
However, what place architecture has in humanitarian efforts can go either largely unnoticed – or largely absent.
BUILDaCHANGE is one nonprofit organization that is attempting to merge the disciplines of architecture and philanthropy with their real life designs. FAREstudio architects started BUILDaCHANGE in 2012 with the clear goal of utilizing the design and building processes for a greater good.
With the assistance of local workers when applicable, they create sustainable and functional facilities. FAREstudio has developed projects like women’s health centers in areas where community members lacked access to medical and psychological care and beneficial municipal programs. Their proactive efforts can be seen in several developing countries.
The Zero Project is a venture from the organization that seeks to focus on compassionate efforts as well as necessary aspects of design. Determined to make a dent in places that are lacking basic sanitation systems, this project aims to build services in needy rural areas.
The fundamentals of construction are something many of us take for granted. Indoor plumbing and fresh water, for instance, is something that millions of people do not have access to. The availability of clean, functioning facilities can make a huge difference in entire populations that would otherwise go without. Inadequate sanitation leads to the spread of disease and can result in untimely deaths.
Their public sanitation centers will also be equipped to independently process waste. A working prototype is in effect, and other goals of the project are to open more sustainable centers that meet other public needs, like charging stations, recycling and laundry facilities.
A future hope is that qualified local residents can manage the facilities, and go on to advance the model to open even more stations.
This type of communally based service goes further than providing a necessary amenity, but also seeks to advance local members in the process. This reciprocally ensures that the model will continue to serve the community.
Socially responsible designs may not be the norm, but thankfully there are those who seek to rise above the standard, and whose efforts make them happen.
Images via BUILDaCHANGE.
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