News: charitable organisation Architecture for Humanity has closed its San Francisco headquarters and laid off its employees soon after apparently becoming unable to continue funding humanitarian projects.
Co-founders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, who ran the organisation from 1999 to 2013, responded to the “sad news” in an email yesterday.
“We just heard the news that Architecture for Humanity, the organisation we began a lot more than 15 years ago, has pivoted its mission and is organizing to close,” wrote the duo, who are pictured above. “We are deeply saddened by this.”
Operating below the slogan “Design like you give a damn,” AFH raised money to fund architectural solutions to humanitarian crises around the planet, raising over \$5 million (£3.three million) in funding every year.
But the organisation’s headquarters close to Union Square had been shut down and all employees laid off without announcement on 1 January, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
AFH has yet to issue a statement about the reasons behind the move, but board member Clark Manus of San Francisco firm Heller Manus Architects told the San Francisco Chronicle that the organisation ran out of money to fund its projects.
“The board tried extremely difficult to figure out how to correct the organization, and we had been out there searching for angels, but the income wasn’t there to help it,” stated Manus. “It really is not that the mission and require wasn’t clear, or that the employees wasn’t devoted.”
Related story: Architecture for Humanity founders step down
The non-profit organisation was founded in 1999 when Sinclair and Stohr organised a competition to style refugee shelters for Kosovans returning property after the war in their country, but stepped down from the organisation in 2013 to pursue other projects.
AFH, which has chapters in nations about the globe, regularly ran open style competitions for structures that would advantage vulnerable communities and disaster victims around the planet.
Current projects that function on AFH’s Facebook page, which has not been updated since 11 December, include a school in Peru and a neighborhood centre in Slovakia.
Other headline projects integrated fundraising for lengthy-term reconstruction in Haiti, following a devastating earthquake in 2010 and Japan, which suffered a equivalent disaster just over a year later.
It also helped to fund projects such as the Yodakandiya Neighborhood Complicated (above), which was constructed in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and was shortlisted for the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
“We ran the organisation and grew it from just a little circle of volunteers to an international organisation with chapters in 25 countries,” stated the co-founders. “For a lot more than ten years, collectively we led the movement to bring social design exactly where it is required most.
“We constructed award-winning buildings, ran revolutionary programs, personally raised far more than \$five million in annual funding, year in and year out, and established a lot more than 5 neighborhood style centres that set the normal for rebuilding soon after disaster.”
“We hope the profession will continue to design like a give damn – in whatever form that takes,” said Stohr and Sinclair. “And we urge the chapters to continue their much needed work”.