The design nonprofit group Architecture for Humanity surprised everyone when it abruptly declared bankruptcy and closed shop in January 2015. Since that time, local chapters around the world have banded together in an effort to create a new identity and a new structure for the organization. In January 2016, they were briefly known as the Chapter Network before the newest rebranding effort was announced in early march.
The organization is now known as the Open Architecture Collaborative and is looking to retool its approach to “reach more people than we ever imagined with the level of locally focused engagement that humanitarian design ultimately demands,” Garrett Jacobs, the new Executive Director of the organization said in a statement.
As Curbed.com reports, the 30-chapter organization is based on ground-up governance and is looking to deliver “design advocacy, facilitation, assessment, and small build services to local grassroots chapters’ marginalized communities,” according to the group’s website. Additionally, OAC wants to help younger design professionals gain field experience.
While this rebranded organization is still in its infancy, it has many big ideas for the future.
“Cities are rapidly transforming and this organization provides local designers and experts to work with the communities that feel those pains the most,” Jacobs said in a video posted to the group’s YouTube channel.
A guiding principle for the OAC is that they believe if people design and build their own environments, they will be more likely to keep them safe, invest in them, and sustain them long term.
The organization will complete its board of directors shortly as the final few seats will be voted on and filled.