Until seven years ago we worked as architects, designing buildings that were often built and used by people we didn’t even know. At times we enjoyed designing something to ‘wow’ people, but in general, we struggled to find meaning and fulfillment in our profession.
We asked ourselves: for whom and for what purpose are we doing this? Isn't architecture the best excuse to bring people together and give meaning to the way we live, work and learn?
We quit our jobs, began our foundation Architecture in Development (AiD) and launched an online platform in 2011. Our aim is to collect world-wide cases of grassroots architecture where architects work hand-in-hand with under-resourced communities to solve the pressing needs in educational, health, economic and environmental development. Our platform has, since then, grown to a database of 500+ cases with an outreach of more than 50,000 building professionals across all continents.
We wondered, how can we bring these passionate people together to achieve something greater?
We launched the 2016 Buildify pilot to scout grassroots initiatives that were still in need of expertise and resources to get off the ground. We selected 5 finalists for which we committed to matching resources. A year later, a school has been realised, serving 250 children in a slum in India; a community centre in a coastal village in Ecuador has engaged enthusiastic engineers from Arup to improve the design.
We are looking for communication talents to join our AiD team based in Amsterdam!