AWB-Oregon volunteer John Blumthal spent a week this April visiting six villages in Haiti at the invitation of AWB's client buildOn, a nonprofit that constructs schools in some of the world's poorest countries. AWB has been working with buildOn since 2012, designing new, seismically sound schools and providing plans for reinforcing older structures. John will be sharing his general impressions of the country and his specific observations about the ongoing school construction and the challenges of working in Haiti. He will also discuss new AWB volunteer opportunities for designing variations to AWB's standard buildOn school design--variations that will accommodate large sites, small sites, and sites that slope. Doors open at 5:45. Refreshments!
Looking for a summer project? AWB-Oregon has been working since Fall 2016 to engage stakeholders and the local community with the redesign of King School Park in Northeast Portland. We've been compiling survey information, historical data, charrette results, and other input from park users to establish three distinct concept designs for the park. At this open meeting we'll be summarizing our findings, presenting outlines for each of the three concepts, and discussing opportunities for new designers to get involved with the Green King Project as we develop these concepts through another round of community charrettes this summer and establish a full program and schematic design in the fall.
Are you or your firm working on an entry for the (Plywood) POD Initiative? AWB's POD team will be presenting their design at our April meeting, and you’re invited to share yours, whether in process or complete. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
Join us for presentations and discussion, Wednesday, April 26th at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave. Refreshments will be served.
The (Plywood) POD Initiative is seeking “sleeping pod” designs in connection with the Portland Art Museum’s upcoming exhibit—Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon. "Yeon’s incredible life and work included investigations into affordable housing in Portland through pioneering uses of plywood, a product with origins in Portland. Today, similar visionary thinking is needed to address the homeless crisis in Portland and around the country."
What have we learned from the POD Initiative? What worked and what didn't in this effort to build micro-housing for the homeless? Participants in Partners on Dwelling's inaugural project will come together at AWB's March meeting to share experiences from both the design and construction phases of their work. Each team in attendance will describe key ideas, lessons, and details important to future efforts, and respond to a brief team-by-team Q&A.
The collective wisdom gathered from POD team members will support continuing innovation in POD design. In connection with the upcoming John Yeon exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, the Center for Public Interest Design has issued a new Call for Entries for designs emphasizing the use of plywood and similar materials. The museum will exhibit the design boards and reviewers will choose at least one pod design to be constructed this summer. Architects Without Borders-Oregon will be submitting at least one entry. If you are interested in joining a design team you may sign up at this meeting. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209. (Enter on NW Flanders St.) Doors open at 5:45. Refreshments will be served.
Todd Ferry, Research Associate and Faculty Fellow at Portland State University's Center for Public Interest Design, will be discussing the potential role of architects in addressing Portland's homelessness crisis through a look at the origins, development, and goals of the Partners On Dwelling (POD) Initiative. This effort emerged from the work of the Village Coalition and was developed at the Center for Public Interest Design in partnership with City Repair, Communitecture, the Mayor's Office, local architecture firms, PSU, residents of Hazelnut Grove, and many others. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209. (Enter on NW Flanders St.) Doors open at 5:45. Refreshments will be served.
Do you value Community-Engaged Design? Now is your chance to get involved. We're looking for volunteers to facilitate a community charrette for the King School Park Re-design Project in NE Portland. We need approximately 10 small-group facilitators to ask open-ended questions, guide conversation, take notes, and summarize to the larger group. Previous experience not required. We will have facilitator training at 5:30 PM, immediately before the 6:30 PM charrette. The charrette will take place in the King School cafeteria, 4906 NE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97211. To sign up, or if you have questions, email project leader Jon Creighton at email@example.com
Please join us for food, drink, and conversation at our annual Holiday Open House. Midway through the evening we'll view a short documentary—The Home for All at Rikuzentakata—about a community center built by a Japanese architectural collective for a town destroyed in the 2011 tsunami. AIA Center for Architecture, 403, NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209.
The topic for AWB's September meeting was Focus on Community Engagement. This month we’ll hear how AWB’s Green King Park Redesign team is putting community engagement into practice in a Northeast Portland neighborhood. King School near NE 7th & NE Alberta sits adjacent to a large park that has long been underutilized. Through an organization called Green King, neighbor Diego Gioseffi of the King Neighborhood Association has been spearheading an effort to improve this space. The Green King team will outline their process for working with various groups in the neighborhood in addition to giving an overview of the project and the site. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (enter on NW Flanders St), Portland, OR 97209. Doors open at 5:45 PM. Refreshments will be served.
Why is it important to involve the community in design projects? Which community engagement practices are effective and which are not? Our two guest speakers this month will discuss community engagement and how effective practices contribute to good design and project success. Planner Anita Yap is founder of the MultiCultural Collaborative which has guided community engagement processes for Portland's Jade District Visioning Plan, Cully Park Safe Access Project, and the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project. Lucas Gray is with Propel Studio, a firm that advocates for community engagement as one of the tenets of its practice. Recently Propel worked with residents of a Japanese farming town to come up with new ideas for an unused nursery school building. In Portland's Montavilla neighborhood, collaboration with parents and other stakeholders yielded a design for a play shelter at Vestal Elementary School. Doors open at 5:45—AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (enter on NW Flanders St). Refreshments will be served.
AWB-Oregon has been working with the nonprofit buildOn to design a seismically resilient school that can be constructed in remote communities throughout Nepal. Craig Totten, AWB Steering Committee member and structural engineer with KPFF Consulting Engineers, will discuss the design process and report on the earthquake damage he saw on a recent trip to Nepal. Doors open at 5:45 PM—AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (enter on NW Flanders St). Refreshments will be served.
AWB is looking for volunteers to work with a community group, Green King, on a park redesign in northeast Portland. The goal is to give Green King a site plan that will show the park's potential in grant applications. In addition there is also room to develop park elements such as gathering space structures, landscape features, or play equipment to bring the project to life even more. If you are interested in being involved, please join us 10:00 AM Saturday, August 6th at the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods—4815 NE 7th Ave. Signage will direct you to the meeting room. If you have questions or want more information, contact Copeland Downs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
India is in the midst of a housing crisis-with a shortage of 49 million units according to one study. At this month's general meeting engineer Chad Norvell will speak about his experience working in India for WorldHaus, a social enterprise that uses new technology to build innovative, low-cost housing. He'll discuss projects completed in both dense slums and remote villages using a combination of local materials and pre-fabricated structures to reduce construction costs. He'll also touch on what distinguishes a social enterprise like WorldHaus from more familiar organizational and corporate structures. In addition to his time in India Chad has extensive experience working on water and solar projects in Nicaragua for Engineers Without Borders. He is currently with Nishkian Dean in Portland. Please join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (entry on NW Flanders). Refreshments will be served.
Please note change of location for this meeting: St Andre Bessette Catholic Church (the Downtown Chapel), Hospitality Room, 2nd floor, 601 W. Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209. St Andre's is on the Green and Yellow Max lines. Parking is available either at street meters or at the pay lot at NW 6th & Couch.
Bring your favorite pen and join us for a design charrette with our partner, the King GreenSpace Collaborative (KGC). We'll be working on improvements for the King School Park and the King Neighborhood Facility in Northeast Portland, using input gathered during a long process of KGC-led community events. KGC's goals include increased green space, reduced water run-off, and improved lighting and safety in the King School Park area. The proposed project includes a nature playground, a running track, and a futsal field.
This is a long-term, community driven project led by neighbors passionate about creating a model for environmental design and outdoor education and engagement. Members of the KGC and the surrounding community will be at the charrette, presenting information about the site and the desired design outcomes. For more information about the history of this project go to http://kingneighborhood.org/green-king/
In 2012, Mayor Park Won-Soon declared densely developed Seoul, South Korea the next "Agro City," and himself demonstrated rice planting in the central public plaza. Lindsay Burnette, a Fulbright Junior Researcher (2014-15) and AWB Steering Committee member, will explore the convergence of political trends and historical roots shaping today's "green landscapes" in Seoul. She'll examine three approaches to building urban agriculture: government initiatives, grassroots movements, and landscape architecture and design. Please join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (entry on NW Flanders). Refreshments will be served.
Our February meeting will take place at GBD Architects, 1120 NW Couch St, Suite 300. The AWB project team will unveil the campus master plan and schematic building designs for the Elman Peace & Human Rights Center, and lead a discussion about the project and the team organization and management of such a large volunteer effort. This ambitious plan brings together EPHRC programs currently dispersed throughout the war-damaged city of Mogadishu, Somalia. The center includes a vocational school, offices, volunteer housing, children's rehabilitation center, women's crisis center, health clinic, prayer hall, and non-formal school. Refreshments will be served.
Please join us at the AIA Center for Architecture (403 NW 11th Ave.) as we celebrate the season with a glass of wine, sweet and savory food, and a short video featuring award-winning German architect, Anna Heringer: "Handmade Architecture as a Catalyst for Development."
Our October open meeting features guest speaker Mark Lakeman, designer and principal at Communitecture, and founder of nonprofit City Repair. Lakeman will address the question, "Does design lead or reflect humanity?" and discuss ways to engage, motivate, and mobilize municipalities and place-based communities. As well, the presentation will outline an expanded and increasingly relevant role for the designer. In 2003, for work with Portland’s Dignity Village, Lakeman and City Repair received the Lewis Mumford Award from Architects/Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility. Please join us at 6 PM at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (entry on NW Flanders). Doors open at 5:45 PM. Refreshments will be served.