Recent years have seen a growing interest in sustainable and socially responsible architecture and engineering designs. Humanitarian architecture is another way to approach such interests and attempts of making a difference. Several projects such as Architects Sans Frontiers, Impact Design Hub, and Shelter Global share the same vision and mission of what architecture really means.
These groups aim at solving the problems of different vulnerable communities through the efforts of humanitarian architecture. This field keeps becoming bigger and stronger every year, with both public and private efforts collaborating and working together. As a result, their strong sense of social responsibility offers many opportunities for innovation and novelty.
What Exactly is Humanitarian Architecture?
In order to understand the objectives of humanitarian architecture, we need to provide an accurate definition of what it is. To begin with, the word humanitarian refers to “having concern for helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people”. Having this in mind, humanitarian architecture aims at providing such welfare and happiness to vulnerable communities and parts of society.
To achieve such goals, humanitarian architects and designers look for safe, supportive, and sustainable alternatives. Some of the cases on which they work include disaster relief shelters, with some organizations developing movable, temporary, and parament, housing options.
About the Social Responsibility of Humanitarian Architecture
The nature of humanitarian architecture comes with its fair share of social responsibility at the core of the field. As a result, architects work closely along with the several communities they help in order to fully understand their problems. This is how they are able to come with sustainable, safe, and accessible solutions, specifically designed for their particular situation.
Such collaboration and engagement with the communities is an excellent opportunity to create bonds with the residents. In turn, this provides a greater empathy and a deeper insight into how to solve whichever issue they might face. This is why the sense of social responsibility is crucial, and a key element, of humanitarian architecture.
Bringing Opportunities for Innovation in the Field
Another by-product of humanitarian architecture is that it provides architects, firms, and agencies with vast room for innovative design. Like we’ve mentioned before, one of the main objectives of the field is to design sustainable solutions for the issues different communities might be facing. Making materials that can last longer and that can be reused while remaining affordable and accessible is essential.
Whether such firms work with communities who have suffered natural disasters or living in unfavorable conditions threatening their human rights, humanitarian architects and firms work with a personalized approach. Thus, having to work with different issues that change with the community they are working with, innovative solutions are a must. Besides, the fast pace and time constraints of every architecture project provide architects with the ideal circumstances to work under the right amount of pressure. This way, they work on the ideal environment for novelty and innovation.