Re-connecting local architectural knowledge to global sustainable development
Monday 19 March 2012
*contributed by Architecture in Development

Today's media has made information about architecture rather accessible: everyday, online and offline design / architectural journals deliver  fresh news about iconic buildings, luxury museums, beautiful villas, eco houses, competition winners...to name but a few. Although these stories are often based on the designers' perspective and are concentrated in limited areas of the world.

However effective and connective the internet is nowadays, a big part of our world is still beyond our understanding. A great amount of building activities are, in fact, out of the media interest. Examples of local community built work, vernacular & traditional building techniques, informal settlements or disaster reconstruction are part of our everyday reality and are invaluable human experiences & innovations. Today this indigenous building knowledge is becoming fragmented, poorly documented and thus easily forgotten & lost in our fast changing digital world.

Is there a way to collect this scattered local architecture knowledge, and make it accessible and valuable to everyone? And with this available knowledge, how can we learn from each other and collaborate on sustainable development? These questions initiated the inception of Architecture In Development - a nonprofit organisation aimed at reconnecting architecture to sustainable development.

To achieve our mission, we dedicated to building a community-based, user-generated knowledge platform, bringing local and global building knowledge to one place and connecting local initiatives to international experts.

Stories of architectural projects on our website are written with respect to the local society, culture, tradition and environments. These stories describe architecture as a Collective Act by explaining how a slum village was formed by the social structure of urban immigrants, or, how building activities were initiated and performed together by the designers and the users. This contributed knowledge has the potential to guide us to communicate architecture in new ways, and will become the foundation for architecture practitioners to collaborate on local and global sustainable development.

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Our second intro film is made with special thanks to Alexis Blake, Hannah Briggs and of course our film team Quinten Swagerman and Joshua Rubin. Click this link to view our first intro film.

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