Architecture for Humanity

Building a more sustainable future using the power of design.

Through a global network of building professionals, Architecture for Humanity brings design, construction and development services to communities in need.

Our Services

Architecture for Humanity provides professional design services to community groups, non-governmental organizations, funding agents, social entrepreneurs and other not-for-profit organizations.

Using design as a tool, we empower our partners to build a more sustainable future.

Focus Areas

  • Disaster Mitigation and Reconstruction
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Design innovation for at-risk populations
  • Addressing climate change through sustainable design

Design and Construction Services

  • Needs assessment /site analysis
  • Community-based design process
  • Capital campaign and marketing materials
  • Holistic design and green building practices
  • Contract documents/ bid/tender process
  • Construction oversight
  • Post-occupancy analysis

Development Services

  • Program development and administration
  • Creation of community design centers
  • Local labor & skills training
  • Risk and liability management
  • Assessment of financing models
  • Coordination of stakeholders
  • Identification and development of financing tools and models

Are you a professional designer?

Offer Your Services

Design matters. And you know it.

You understand the power of design to change lives. Now you are looking to make a difference. If you are a design professional or team wanting to get involved in a project, sign up to offer your design services with Architecture for Humanity.

In a changing world increasingly vulnerable to disaster your skills are needed more than ever.

We regularly receive requests for pro bono services from design professionals, including licensed and unlicensed architects, landscape architects, engineers and others. Both short and long-term opportunities exist. Depending on the project requirements, design professionals can work on-site or remotely from their home or office. Whenever possible we work to match architects with projects in their area.

Are you looking for design services?

Request Design Services

For over a decade, Architecture for Humanity has facilitated the design, development and construction of facilities to enrich and empower communities around the world. We believe where resources are scarce innovative, sustainable and collaborative design can make a difference. If you are seeking design services, please tell us about your building project or program by completing the form below. This information will help us determine the best way to meet your needs. We share potential projects with our network of designers by posting them to our Design Opportunities listings and to our newsletter.

Sustainable Design

Buildings not only have a physical footprint – they have an ethical footprint.

For us sustainability is about more than building green. We think about how a building will affect the environment, how it will improve the lives and livelihoods of its occupants, and its impact on future generations, including its vulnerability to disaster.

Above (left to right): Recycled clay bean curd pots provide sound attenuation in a community center in Lunawa, Sri Lanka by Design Fellow Susi Jane Platt. Community members earn income by building transitional schools by Design Fellow Jason Anderson in the wake of the Tsunami. Diagonally laid subflooring in a house designed by MC2 Architects for a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina provides lateral strength to protect the house from future hurricanes.

Knowledge Sharing

What is the value of innovative design if it isn’t shared?

We believe that sustainable design solutions and resources should be accessible to all. To help design professionals share their knowledge we created the Open Architecture Network. The Open Architecture Network is an online community developed by Architecture for Humanity to provide open source access to design solutions.

Open Architecture Network


In 2007 Architecture for Humanity launched the Open Architecture Network, a collaborative online resource and project management tool for those dedicated to improving the built environment. But it’s not just for professional architects–community leaders, nonprofits, technology partners, educators, materials specialists, healthcare workers, and others collaborate and share their expertise on the network.

Design Competitions

Architecture for Humanity hosts and promotes competitions focused on humanitarian and community-based design through the Open Architecture Network. In addition, each year Architecture for Humanity sponsors the Open Architecture Challenge. The Open Architecture Challenge focuses the design community’s attention on a different systemic issue facing the built environment and invites designers to offer their solutions. The challenge is open to professionals and non-professionals alike. All entries are shared on the Open Architecture Network.

Educational Workshops

At the university level, architecture and design programs around the world have used our competitions and design criteria as a model for semester-long projects. In addition we have hosted student-led workshops focused on humanitarian-directed design at a number of universities. Elementary and high school students have also benefited from our design initiatives through after-school workshops. Interested in hosting or particpating in a workshop with Architecture for Humanity? Contact us.

August Micro Grant for your Chapter Project

We’re doing it again. All chapters are invited to apply for a $2500 micro grant to be awarded at the end of the month. Apply starting today, from August 08 through August 22, to fund your chapter project – projects can be in any design development or construction phase! Have a great future project but need a little help to get it going? Apply as well.

Fill out the application form to apply for the August micro grant.

We would like to give a special thanks to Chase Community Giving for this opportunity and to everyone for their involvement and continued support of Architecture for Humanity and the Chapter Network.

Design Open Mic: Project Board Update

Participants in this week’s Design Open Mic on August 3rd heard the latest updates on Architecture for Humanity’s ever-growing project board.

First off, we were brought up to speed on the Happy Hearts project in Peru which is nearing completion as well as the other Happy Hearts projects in construction. This was followed by an update on the nine Football for Hope projects, three Nike GameChangers projects and five Nike GameChangers micro grants in various stages of design and development.


Charrettes deliver insights for new communities in Haiti

With hundreds of thousands of Haitians still living in tent camps and downtown Port-au-Prince reconstruction at an apparent standstill, more focus is put on ground-up developments in and around the capital city where land rights for large tracts can be certified.

One such area is Santo, just south of Léogâne, where a community plan for 500 families is being developed collaboratively by Architecture for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity International and dozens of soon-to-be residents.


Design Open Mic: Crowdbrite and a Review of Chapter Micro Grants Program

For our Wednesday, July 27th Design Open Mic session, our headquarters welcomed Darin Dinsmore, CEO of the newly founded Crowdbrite, an online platform that facilitates collaboration among professionals and experts of varying fields in their work on design and development projects.

Chapters Coordinator Frederika Zipp spoke about the Chapter Micro Grants that will be awarded monthly thanks to a recent grant from Chase Community Giving.


Dhaka awarded first chapter micro grant.

We’re pleased to announce that our first Chapter Micro Grant has been awarded to our Dhaka, Bangladesh chapter. The grant funding will be going toward the construction of a school in the Rayer Bazar Slum. The school provides English educational services to this disadvantaged community free of charge under the supervision of the Jaago Foundation. A very limited budget has not hampered the design innovation of this project which highlights the use of indigenous materials and techniques that can be duplicated in other locations. Extensive use of bamboo, locally grown, demonstrates the potential of this building material and offers sustainable economic opportunities for farmers and growers. The project also makes use of recycled metal, available in ample supply in Dhaka. Congratulations to the Dhaka chapter.


Haiti: L’Institut Foyer Du Savoir (Home of Knowledge Institute) goes into construction

After a year of planning, design, 2 long months of BID process and very close work with the client Pastor Wilkesse Dorcinvil.L’Institut Foyer du Savoir ( Home of Knowledge Institute) located in Delmas 75, Port-au-prince, Haiti is in construction.

Pastor Wilkesse Dorcinvil the client and Mr. Yves Verpile the Owner/ Engineer of the Local Haitian firm ETEC located in Port-au-prince signed today Friday july 29,2011 and agreed on starting Construction this monday August 1st, 2011.

Chapters: Rolling out the Micro Grants Program

Micro grants for chapter projects

We’re excited to announce our Chapters Micro Grants Program, benefiting our chapter projects. Thanks to the Chase Community Giveaway, we’re able to fund this program for the next several months. A monthly $2500 grant will be awarded to a chapter project and watch how a little help goes a long way!

This month, 12 applications were submitted by our international and US based chapters. These applications cover a cross section of projects that truly highlight the talent and dedication of our chapter members. Each of these chapter projects offer an innovative design solution for a local challenge.

To qualify, current projects may be in any design development stage, making this a wonderful opportunity for all chapters. Consideration for a successful application include impact, sustainability, design innovation and progress feasibility within the 90-day grant period.


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