July 2—First Thursday: AWB 10-Year Retrospective

A 10-Year Retrospective at the Center for Architecture tells the story of AWB's global impact, from East Africa to the Pacific Northwest. Projects on display in the center's gallery include schools, parks, and social service agencies. The First Thursday opening will be July 2, 5:30 - 8:30 PM. The show runs from July 2 to July 31. Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 9 - 5. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209.

June 24th—Report from Haiti

Earlier this month a Pro Publica/NPR story revealed the spectacular failure of Red Cross aid efforts in Haiti in the years following the 2010 earthquake. Nick Troutt, an Architects Without Borders volunteer, lives in Haiti eight months out of the year, teaching English and training masons who work on AWB-designed schools. At this month's open meeting he will describe his experiences and answer questions about the challenges of living, working, and volunteering in Haiti. Join us at 6 PM, AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (entry on NW Flanders). Refreshments will be served.

May 27th—Vernonia Health Center

In 2007 a flood in the rural Oregon community of Vernonia destroyed homes, schools and other buildings. At our May meeting guest speaker Joan Jasper of Scott Edwards Architecture will discuss the firm's collaboration with the Vernonia Health Center Board, planning and designing a new public health clinic to replace one that was damaged in the flood. Challenges of this project included complicated site conditions and a truly finite budget. The Vernonia Health Center, which opened in October 2014, provides immunizations, family planning, primary care, well baby screenings, and other services. The building also houses an office of Columbia County Mental Health. Join us at 6 PM, AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (entry on NW Flanders). Refreshments will be served.

February 25th—Project Review: Portland Day Storage

At our February 25th open meeting the project team for Portland Day Storage: Serving the Homeless will present several designs for a storage facility where homeless people can leave their possessions while they go for a  job interview, attend to personal hygiene, or secure social services. We'll be looking at considerations such as location, cost, availability of materials, ease of maintenance, staffing requirements, and aesthetics. Please attend this important meeting to give your feedback on the team's ideas, connect with others interested in this issue, and help us move forward with this project. Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (enter on NW Flanders St) at 6 PM.  Refreshments will be served.

January 28th—Schools in the Developing World

Our first meeting of the year will feature a video about the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, a mountainous region of Northern India. The firm that designed the school considered solar orientation, local building materials and techniques, the extreme climate, and Tibetan Buddhist beliefs. After the screening, AWB volunteers will discuss similarities and differences between the Druk White Lotus School and schools AWB has been working on in Nepal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (enter on NW Flanders St) at 6 PM.  Refreshments will be served.

December 10th—Holiday Open House & Film Screening

Please join us from 6 to 9 pm for festive food and drink in celebration of this year's projects, speakers, and volunteers. Starting at 8 pm we'll be screening two 25-minute episodes of the documentary series Rebel Architecture, which profiles activist architects from around the world confronting social and environmental problems in their own countries. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave (enter on NW Flanders).

October 22nd—Storage Charrette

AWB-Oregon is working with JOIN, a Portland non-profit organization, to design a facility where homeless people can store their possessions. JOIN helps individuals and families make the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Please help us with your ideas for this new project. Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue (enter on NW Flanders) at 6PM, Wednesday, October 22nd.  Refreshments will be served. 

September 24th — Focus on Homelessness, Part 2

AWB-Oregon's September meeting will explore a spectrum of housing options for the homeless, from tiny houses to encampments to large full-service shelters. Our guest presenters are:

  • David Otte, project manager for Holst Architecture's award-winning Bud Clark Commons. Bud Clark Commons includes 130 studio apartments, a 90-bed men's transitional shelter, and a day center.
  • Israel Bayer, executive director at Street Roots, and housing advocate.
  • Michael Withey of Micro Community Concepts which is seeking to raise funds to plan, develop, and manage communities of affordable tiny houses.

Speakers will address user and developer perspectives, policy issues, and the potential of community organizing.

Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue (enter on NW Flanders) at 6PM, Wednesday, September 24th.  Refreshments will be served. 

August 27th — Focus on Homelessness, Part 1

AWB-Oregon's August meeting features a discussion of past, present, and future approaches to solving the problem of homelessness in Portland. Our guest presenters are:

  • Sally Erickson, Manager, Ending Homelessness Initiative, Portland Housing Bureau. Erickson leads a team that is implementing the City and County's plan to end homelessness, A Home for Everyone, including developing strategies with public and private community partners.
  • Tony Bernal, Director of Funding & Public Policy, Transition Projects. Transition Projects is one of Portland's leading organizations helping people escape homelessness. Bernal has worked extensively on veteran homelessness, women and homelessness, and developing supportive services to help people maintain their housing.
  • Marc Jolin, Executive Director, JOIN. JOIN has helped more than 6,000 homeless people find and retain permanent housing. Before becoming JOIN's executive director, Jolin was staff attorney for the Homeless Law Project at the Oregon Law Center.

As well, we will briefly review two relevant local AWB-Oregon projects: A remodel at St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church which provides services to the homeless, and a market-style distribution plaza for the Northeast Emergency Food Program.

At our September meeting-Focus on Homelessness, Part 2-we will discuss various housing solutions for the homeless.
Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue (enter on NW Flanders) at 6PM, Wednesday August 27th.  Refreshments will be served. 

July 26th - AWB Volunteer Day with Habitat for Humanity

No general meeting this month. Instead, AWB is volunteering with Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, July 26th from 7:45 AM to 2:30 PM. We'll be constructing a large playground for a 45-home community in Southeast Portland. No experience is necessary, but you must register online by Friday, the day before the event. Please join us! Register at: http://vhub.at/AWB


June 25 - University of Oregon Thesis Presentations

Architects Without Borders – Oregon has invited selected  graduates of the University of Oregon's school of architecture to present their thesis projects at AWB’s June general meeting. Projects were chosen based on quality, and relevance to AWB’s mission of providing design and planning services to communities in need. One project envisions a new Lebanese city based on agroforestry, benefitting both a large Syrian refugee population and the host community. Another outlines a “tsunami rehabilitation village” aimed at helping fishermen and their families now living in informal settlements in a slum area of Chennai, India. Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue (enter on NW Flanders) at 6PM, Wednesday June 25th.  Refreshments will be served. 

May 28th - TED Talk & Discussion

The May meeting of Architects Without Borders-Oregon features a showing and discussion of a brief TED Talk, "What Happens When an NGO Admits Failure," by David Damberger of Engineers Without Borders. Joining AWB-Oregon for the post-Ted-Talk discussion will be guest speaker and Portland State University instructor Tom Szymoniak of Engineers Without Borders. AWB-Oregon is working with Szymoniak and EWB's PSU chapter on designing a site plan for community facilities and a school on 10 acres in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia. Team members will present the project and discuss ways to ensure its success, with reference to examples in the Ted Talk. (For more information on this project see community project.org.)  Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue (enter on NW Flanders) at 6PM.  Refreshments will be served. 

April 23rd Meeting — Africa Bridge

Barry Childs, founder of Africa Bridge (africabridge.org), will be the guest speaker at this month’s general meeting. Headquartered at Marylhurst University, Africa Bridge combats child poverty in Tanzania through economic development at the village level: creating farming coops, facilitating micro-lending, and building and renovating classrooms and clinics. Thus far Africa Bridge has been active in 20 villages. Childs, who grew up in Tanzania and was formerly at Abbott Laboratories, is a 2010 winner of the $100,000 Purpose Prize awarded to innovative “social entrepreneurs” over the age of 60. Join us at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue (enter on NW Flanders) at 6PM, Wednesday, April 23. Refreshments will be served. 

March 26th Meeting - Guest Speaker Jay Raskin, AIA

What can be done now to reduce damage and shorten recovery time from a great earthquake in Oregon? How will such a quake impact buildings, transportation, and utilities? At our March general meeting, Jay Raskin, AIA, will present the Oregon Resilience Plan, which outlines the state’s findings and recommendations regarding a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Raskin, a leading advocate for disaster preparedness and recovery planning, and former mayor of Cannon Beach, will provide an overview of the plan and talk about opportunities for involvement in planning and recovery efforts.  Join us at 6 PM, Wednesday, March 26 at the AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave. (enter on NW Flanders). Doors open at 5:45. Refreshments will be served.

February 26th General Meeting, 6 PM

Our February general meeting features reviews of two projects. The AWB team for The Red Sweater Project will pin up the master plan, and science lab and classroom building plans, for the Mungere Secondary School campus in Tanzania. Gauri Rajbaidya of Sera Architects will present the latest plans for a prototype three-room school in Nepal, designed for buildOn, to be constructed of reinforced concrete, masonry, steel joist and uPVC roofing. Join us at the Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Ave, (enter on NW Flanders). Doors open at 5:45.

Feb 19th Ethiopia Charrette at PSU

Join Engineers Without Borders at PSU to help design a site plan for a 10 acres in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia. The project includes a K-8 school, a large community/training center with a market site, a community garden, and designs for classroom buildings. For more information about this project go to http://communityproject.org/ Portland State University, Room 315, Engineering Building, 1930 SW Fourth Ave 6:30 PM, Wednesday, February 19 To RSVP email volunteer@awb.org