Architecture For The Rest Of Us

February 21, 2015

AiD 1

Too often, architects spend more time trying to impress each other than they do thinking about sustainable solutions for the future. That’s the position of Rob Breed and Changfang Luo, two young architects who have joined forces to create Architecture in Development (AiD).

In an interview with Core77, they said they noticed that “in the world of architecture, little attention is spent on the people and their relationship with architecture… the culture and the tradition that give shape to architecture. There is hardly a voice from the people who participated in the process of making architecture; there is hardly any critique or evaluation on architecture after it’s inhabited.”

To correct those failings, they want to encourage community design that emphasizes people rather than icons by providing a place where a new generation of architects can meet to collaborate on designs that address future needs. “We asked ourselves: How can we help our colleagues think and act differently in our daily practice? When we look beyond the glamorized architecture that impacts only the top 1%, we see many new dimensions of architecture—it’s fascinating to find out what architecture can do and what impact it can have on the needs and urgencies of various societies and communities,” they said.

Breed and Luo want to use the internet to “build up a network of resources, including financial, knowledge and human capital. The next step is to make these resources available and accessible for people who believe in a more socially relevant architecture.” The concept is similar to what Uber and Lyft are doing for commuters – using technology to link those who need to get somewhere with drivers willing to provide transportation.

The founders of AiD believe their mission is “to create a network of ‘curious’ people who dare to question the status quo of architecture and to craft an environment that is not only beautiful but also sustainable for generations to come.”

Isn’t that what architecture should really be about?

Photo: AiD



Stephen Hanley

lives in Rhode Island and writes about topics at the convergence of technology and ecology. You can follow him on Google + and Twitter.