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Design Like You Give A Damn: Architectural Responses To Humanitarian Crises Paperback – January 15, 2006


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Design Like You Give A Damn: Architectural Responses To Humanitarian Crises + Design Like You Give a Damn {2}: Building Change from the Ground Up + Beyond Shelter: Architecture and Human Dignity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolis Books; 1st edition (January 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933045256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933045252
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Heavy on context and images, light on celebrity names, Design Like You Give a Damn is a bracing reminder that there's more to architecture than museums and posh private homes. Instead, the founders of the group Architecture for Humanity round up 77 nimble solutions to real-life problems: There are fiberglass domes for the homeless of Los Angeles, a schoolhouse in Burkina Faso with an arced steel roof that insulates the clay brick classrooms below -- even a water pump in South Africa that is powered by children playing on a merry-go-round. Truly inspirational. (San Francisco Chronicle 2006-11-19)

A book that is lovely in every sense of the word.. ...makes clear just how much talent is currently going to waste designing McMansions. (Bill McKibben New York Review of Books 2006-11-16)

Design Like You Give A Damn screams its message in its title. Good design is not a luxury, but a necessity. (The Scotsman 2006-07-16)

This book brings forth the values of sustainability and diversity in a beautiful way-values which are as essential to our housing as they are to food we eat. (Alice Waters Chez Panisse Foundation 2006-09-07)

Design like you give a Damn is truly an important work-its lesson is that architecture and design are not about being on the cover of last week's New York Times Magazine but about making a difference in people's lives. (Treehugger 2006-07-06)

If you care about the future we're building, you ought to own a copy of Design Like You Give a Damn (Alex Steffen World Changing 2006-09-01)

...a 336-page love letter to architects worldwide who provide pro-bono design services to communities that have survived war, government oppression and natural disasters. It's also an antidote to apathy. (Leilani Labong 7X7 Magazine 2006-10-27)

From the Publisher

"Architecture for Humanity has a clear goal: to improve the lives of billions people worldwide, one sustainable building at a time. And while the mission may sound overly ambitious, AFH is on its way. The group...has become the premier nonprofit organization for disaster relief housing programs."
- Wired

More About the Author

Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and 'chief eternal optimist' (CEO) for Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organization which builds architecture and design solutions to humanitarian crises, and provides pro-bono design and construction services to communities in need. Over the past twelve years the organization has worked in forty four countries and has over seventy independent city-wide chapters. Projects range from schools, health clinics, affordable housing and long term sustainable reconstruction after disasters. As a strong believer in 'cultural diplomacy' Sinclair has been working on a series of projects to re-think cultural and civic institutions within the social fabric.

Sinclair and Architecture for Humanity co-founder Kate Stohr compiled the bestselling books Design Like You Give A Damn 1 and 2. As a frequent teacher and visiting professor is heavily involved in bringing socially relevant design into academia and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Westminster.

Sinclair is a recipient of the TED prize and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. In 2008 Sinclair and Stohr were named as recipients of the National Design Awards and the following year jointly awarded the Bicentenary Medal by the Royal Society of Arts for increasing people's resourcefulness. In 2011 Sinclair was made a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and took an advisory role at USAID with a focus on reforming international aid.

Sinclair and Stohr launched the Open Architecture Network, the worlds' first open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. In 2011 this network merged with Worldchanging to become a central destination for collaborative solutions to change the world.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I found the book very inspiring and informative.
Brian D. Dolan
The community was involved in the actual design process as well as the decision of programming the building.
Susan Prater
If you are into web sites like" Instructables "or" eco- geek" you will love the book.
Nancy Andrew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 86 people found the following review helpful By desertknitter on September 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've read this book from cover to cover - only the second architecture book I've finished all the way through. The first 'Good deeds, good design' (ed. Bryan Bell) is very similar in its exploration of sustainable innovative design. I've been waiting awhile for something as inspirational as that book, and 'Design Like You Give A Damn' doesn't disappoint.

While covering some of the same projects as 'Good Deeds, Good Design' it looks at quite a few more as well. The emphasis is on cultural, rather than environmental, sustainability (but the latter isn't ignored).

The graphics make it as accessible as a coffee table book (without the shallowness) and the information is clear and easy to read. Best of all, it avoids the self indulgent, self-obsessed rhetoric that seems to be so common in architectural books.

After finishing each section of this book I'm left with so many questions that the book couldn't possibly answer. How do I get involved or start one of these projects? What tools were used in the participation stage? (In this respect 'Good Deeds' is a bit more helpful?) How exactly does the construction work for the adobe huts that are lit on fire from the inside?

'Design Like You Give A Damn' promotes a philosophy of initiative, resourcefulness and not waiting for things to be handed to you. As such, the greatest compliment I can pay this book (and its authors) is that I finished it with lots of questions and enthusiasm.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Lundquist on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a community planner working in sustainable design. I have a library of books that pitch the green, the innovative , mod construction, etc.

Most of them are, at the end of the day, fluff... many promoting a small group of architects that get together to publish a sort of self serving tome.

THIS BOOK IS THE EXCEPTION! It is sure to become the standard as a resource for inspired design world wide, and the way it is constructed is brilliant, with the design and the technical well illustrated, along with an engaging background story of how the project came about, what were the challenges, etc.

I am purchasing copies of this book for associates so they can get the benefit of this remarkable overview of creative, sustainable, and innovative work being done world-wide by designers, tinkers , inventors, and creative folks that really do Give a Damn

I hope they issue a new edition every couple of years.

Seriously, its like the original Whole Earth in the important and liberating information contained... an important new resource

Buy this Book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A W on September 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
To echo what some of the other reviewers have written, this book is really marvelous inspiration. It describes a series of projects, most built, that are mostly low tech, low cost, people-centered. It is mainly architecture (buildings), but highlights a few projects that fall more into the 'appropriate tech' catagory: pumps, water carriers, solar stills, bush toilets...

Like most architecture books, this isn't a technical guide, but it is a well written, inspirational look at a few dozen examples of architecture and design applied to their highest good.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By GB on August 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is truly fantastic. I am an architecture student in the process of writing a thesis on sustainable humanitarian design. There is no other title on the market that compares - so many examples from right across the globe. It is so current, so real and I couldn't help but be inspired. I hope that one day I am able to be a part of the work of these amazing design professionals.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on May 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a great addition to any designers library, skimming over a few different projects that are displayed after reading the first few chapters to get the background story is best. There are many projects that can help get over designers block when you need a break at 4 oclock in the morning.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Architectural Historian on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is an important counterbalance to the plethora of glossy coffee table books about architecture that glorify starchitects and their creations, which usually only benefit their wealthy clients. If only the architectural journals would plaster these projects on their front pages instead of oh-so-chic homes and corporate headquarters. The world is facing a housing crisis, but most architects are not trained to respond to this crisis in massive, innovative ways that go beyond the feel-good student trips to build a couple of houses for people in need. This book should be required reading in all architecture schools, architecture practices, and architectural publishing offices. The profession - as with so many other professions - has lost its way. This book can be one small step toward recovering the reality that architecture is a collaborative endeavor that entails public responsibilities.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Dolan on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found the book very inspiring and informative. The book is basically a catalogue of several types and scales of architectural humanitarianism. I am a student of architecture and this book and "Cradle to Cradle" have really inspired and driven me to explore these topics of sustainability and humanitarianism in the field of architecture further. If you are new to how architecture can help in humanitarian ways, as I am, then this book would be a fine introduction.
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