About Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.

By tapping a network of more than 50,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, we bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.

Each year 25,000 people directly benefit from structures designed by Architecture for Humanity. Our advocacy, training and outreach programs impact an additional 60,000 people annually. We channel the resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally. From conception to completion, we manage all aspects of the design and construction process. Our clients include community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations.

Design is important to every aspect of our lives. It informs the places in which we live, work, learn, heal and gather. We engage all stakeholders in the design process. We believe our clients are designers in their own right.

Thoughtful, inclusive design creates lasting change in communities by:

  • Alleviating poverty and providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services
  • Bringing safe shelter to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations
  • Rebuilding community and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas
  • Mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements
  • Creating spaces to meet the needs of those with disabilities and other at-risk populations
  • Reducing the footprint of the built environment and addressing climate change

Architecture for Humanity is a catalyst for innovation. We learn by doing. We know the value of sharing success stories and lessons learned—our own as well as those of others. This groundbreaking on-line network empowers architects, designers, builders and their clients to share architectural plans and drawings—including CAD files. All plans are shared through an open-source model and can be freely downloaded by all.

Design is the ultimate renewable resource. Join us in building safer, more sustainable and more innovative structures—structures that are assets to their communities and an ongoing testament to the ability of people to come together to envision a better future.


Architecture for Humanity brings people who care about sustainable development together. We provide a range of design and construction administration services to partners and clients through a global network of design, development and construction professionals with local expertise and knowledge.

Design Advocates

65,000 newsletter subscribers, 500+ professional affiliations globally

Local Chapters

73 chapters in 25 countries with more than 4,650 volunteer design professionals

Design Fellowship Program

20-35 design fellows dedicated to community based design projects globally for 6-month to 1-year fellowships


  • Community-based organizations: Pinsara Federation, League for Education and Development, Hope Coordination Center, and others.
  • Housing developers: Habitat for Humanity, Hope Coordination Center, and others.
  • Institutional and NGO clients: UN Habitat, AMD, FIFA, Nike, Oprah’s Angel Network, Orient Global,
    and many others.
  • Government: USAID, Parks Department of the City of New York, Office of Emergency Management

Awards and Honors

2009 Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal

2009 Treehugger: Best Humanitarian Designer

2008 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award (Design Patron Award)

2007 Zumtobel Group Finalist (Open Architecture Network)

2007 AIA New York Foundation Award

2007 AIA Arkansas Design Award (Marlon Blackwell Architect, Biloxi Model Home Program)

2007 AIA Houston Design Awards On the Boards (MC2 Architects, Biloxi Model Home Program)

2007 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award

2006 TED Prize

2005 Index Award to Improve Life (community)

2006 WIRED Rave Award for Architecture

2005 AIA San Francisco Design Awards Special Achievement – Global Impact
2004 ASID Design for Humanity Award

2005 Lewis Mumford Award for Peace

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