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Friday, 30 December 2011

Join The Cause

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. 
And then go and do that. 
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman 

Final week, as I was packing and unpacking my things, I kept thinking, if I'm going to start help change the world I must first understand my place in society. I did some research and wrote a list of causes that has always been close to my heart. Next step, confirmation, probably during this short break away from work I can reflect on my true passion for Architecture + Travel + Children. 

If you haven't notice, I have always love a good picture, quotes and sharing stories/ experiences. Every time I do some reading, I take notes. Who knows when it might come in handy. I have collected a good collection of them over the time. Both good quote or picture (at the right moment) is worth ten thousand words. I always thought it would be nice to include some interesting ones on my blog, Facebook or Twitter every now and then to encourage others. I'll be adding more and more on a regular basis. I hope you would enjoy reading my digital footprint, it's nothing fancy.
Armed with only two simple quote, I am heading off to my next adventure. I am confident He will guide me to find a cause that will make my heart sing.

"Seek the wisdom of the ages,but look at the world through the eyes of a child." - Ron Wild

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up." - Pablo Picasso

This holiday season, instead of concentrating on buying and accepting gifts, I adopted a new habit. I started to invest my time to raise funds and awareness (by merely talking to people) I encourage them to find a charity to give back to society. You do not have to follow my footsteps, find your own voice. Maybe you want to start a family but it sounds like a huge responsibility or you are not ready to settle down with your partner, try sponsoring a small child. One dollar a day to support clean clothes, food, a bed to sleep, school supplies and an education seems like a good start. I have listened to people who started their own charity programs, and it is actually very affordable and accessible.

Time and money is only an excuse, if you think carefully, it is how you empower, motivate and inspire yourself and people around you ...  to living a happy and fulfilled lives. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days when I was six and my biggest problem was what kind of dress to put on my Barbie's or whether or not I had enough Lego's to build a fort. So think ... what makes you put a smile on when you wake up for work in the morning?

If you are not a fan of architecture, check out this site and you can stop reading.

But to my fellow architecture peers maybe the following links would help you to continue your long tiring journey next year. Never give up, you are almost there, just a few more steps.

Open Architecture Network (OAN) is a free on-line open source community dedicated to improve global living conditions through innovative and sustainable designs, the network aims to allow architects, designer, innovators and community leaders to share ideas, design and places.

Architecture for Humanity is a non-profit organisation that finds architectural solutions and put them into practise during humanitarian crisis, it also brings professional design services to communities in need. Cameron Sinclair is a young architect with great world vision. Google and watch his videos on Youtube.

Why we choose to do it?
  • Growing this world and promoting green sustainable design
  • See, share and explore architecture for humanity
  • Support and help change the world
  • Interested in social, humanitarian and cultural design
A lot of organisation focus on providing shelter to homeless people through sustainable, transitional housing. Projects ranges from school, affordable housing, long term sustainable reconstruction and health clinics. But remember it's not just about designing solutions for people in need it is all about building for people in need, because there are a million ideas out there that can change world but unless you built it doesn't matter. If an architect show up and present the idea but not implement that idea, it is as if you shown people a vision but not giving them a future. So don't just sit in front of the drawing board, go out and see it done.

How does it work?
Architectural aid organisation has recently hit Australia, most have been established for ten years or less. Architects has work all over the world on humanitarian projects for nothing or next to nothing. These projects come about while architects are overseas and see a need or are approached by NGOs
  • Some architects are paid but most are not
  • Some work on the ground, while others work remotely
  • Some vet projects carefully, while other architects discover projects on their travels and stay around to lend a hand
  • Some individuals have been helping out for free on projects that seems forever

What are the process?
  • Consultation with the disaster community
  • Learning about the local techniques and materials
  • Documentation can be performed in Australia but still maintained a presence on site (sourcing materials and supplementing local construction knowledge)

When is the best time?
I encourage all architects or graduates to work on these overseas projects when you are young, working for yourself or even taking time out from a larger practise. You can choose to be volunteers and pay your way (my first step). Most are provided with accommodation and some may get a stipend to cover their  living costs.

Where are the common locations?
Solomon Islands, East Timor, India, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Liberia

Architecture for Humanity
Open Architecture Network
Architects For Peace
Emergency Architects Australia (EAA)
Architects without Frontiers (AWF)

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt


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