Architecture for Humanity closes head office in the USA
HH can not confirm that this is true and the AFH website reveals nothing of the closure, but the founders of AFH should know a little about the organisation and they are expressing their sadness.
Why has this happened? Apart for the obvious ‘not enough money to continue’ it raises many questions about the structure of not just AFH but the the profession, and its future.
Was the structure of AFH still based on the star architect principle, being founded and run by leaders – they step down and the organisation staggers?
Did the architectural profession really support the idea of an architecture for all? If so, in what tangible ways in the USA, or in any other country, did the profession assist in achieving the goals?
Were the development targets of the work always constrained by a ‘designed’ solution, an image, a promotable concept?
Let’s see if the organisation can be re-made and can survive in other countries where branches have been established. HH wishes all the staff and contributors over the years the best of luck for the future.
The big and difficult questions about the contribution of architecture (methods, thoughts and skills) to the many remain for other organisation to ponder. The greatly missed Colin James (Australian architect and activist whose likeness adorns the t shirt image at the head of this article) remind us constantly about priorities. The ‘object’ was only of value when it provided service, he summed this up succinctly with one great line ‘make housing a verb’.