Paul Schmelzer as signed by Cameron Sinclair
My brother, an architect interested in sustainable design, and I interviewed British-born architect Cameron Sinclair this Spring at a noisy dive bar in the University of Minnesota neighborhood known as Dinkytown. Over greasy fries and through the din of Dookie-era Green Day, he told us about Architecture for Humanity, the world's largest--and first--humanitarian architecture group, and how thousands of volunteer designers around the world have built culturally sensitive, aesthetically healing, and environmentally sound housing for victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, and hurricanes. I'm especially fond of his plans for an "open-source architecture network," a way for architects to get paid for their work while offering free blueprints in the developing world to be modified as local conditions dictate.
While you may not know Cameron, I post him early in the blog in hopes that you will. For more, check out the book he edited for AfH, aptly titled, Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises. Our interview also appears in the Royal Society of Art's book Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook (December 2006).