Providing assistance locally and globally


There is another side to architecture, much less glamorous and perhaps a bit more hazardous, I call “architectunseen.”  Architects working in public service and volunteering to help rebuild and improve our communities.

An Architects Without Borders post earthquake relief trip to in Haiti in 2010 shifted my perspective significantly.   After returning from this work, I began to explore the different roles for architects in public service and disaster response.

The launch of project “Architect Unseen” began with my fundraising project for a Habitat for Humanity volunteer trip building homes for families in El Salvador.  Today, it serves as a platform for research and discussion on this important role for architects.

The ultimate goal for this discussion is to learn firsthand from successful programs and bring home an understanding of what it takes to empower people, locally and globally, with the knowledge to help themselves.

I invite you to follow my “daily posts archive” and share in the conversation about this unseen side of architecture.  (Daily posts are listed on the right side)

A little more history……

After returning from the 2010 Haiti post earthquake response work, I completed an SAP (Safety Assessment Program) Trainer course via the CA Emergency Management ATC-20 and ATC-45 program and became the WI AIA State Disaster Assistance Coordinator.

house2_paintedaOn Feb. 2, 2013, I traveled with a team of  23 volunteers traveled to a region in El Salvador previously hit by earthquakes and hurricanes to work building homes for local families.

In September 2015 I will join forces with Namaste Nepal on a rebuilding programme to help families recover from the April and May 2015 earthquakes.

Thank you for your support of project “architect unseen”, a campaign that will bring awareness to the unseen side of architecture where architects are using their skills to build stronger communities.

Questions and posts are welcome – please join in the conversation!

Warmest wishes,

Janine Glaeser

24 thoughts on “Providing assistance locally and globally

  1. Linda Linssen

    Today is your day.
    You’re off to Great Places!
    You’re off and away!

    You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes.
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.

    — Dr. Seuss
    from Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

  2. Jerian

    If compassion was the motivating factor behind all our decisions, would our world not be a completely different place? ~ Cheryl Crow.
    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ The Dalai Lama
    If someone shows kindness, caring and a willingness to help others, they’re showing compassion. You have that in abundance my dear friend. Now you have found a way to share it. What a wonderful thing!
    Love ya,

  3. Darria McDonald

    What an honor that I get to run the half with you! I also pledge $2/mile toward the project. Where your feet go shows the impulse of your heart. Clapping my hands for your feet and your heart! Way to go!

    1. architectunseen Post author

      Thank you so much for your pledge Darria – you have already supported me in so many ways. I am lucky to be running this race along side you. I mean that figuratively because all I’ll see is the blur as you speed past me at the start….. and then your smiling face at the end.

  4. James Beal

    OK, I knew the whole “architect” and “disaster” thing rang a bell. It’s because of this: “Don Schramm did not begin his career with disasters in mind. Trained as an architect, interested in passive solar design, he had served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela and then as program director in Chile. In each country, he experienced an earthquake. “In Venezuela, I was living in a metal shack in a barrio,” he recalls, “and the quake sounded like a train coming across the tin roofs.”

    1. architectunseen Post author

      Thank you for your very generous support Linda! Yes, training hard. Ran 7 miles yesterday, that’s half way to the half marathon. Your friendship and encouragement are what I appreciate above all.

  5. Team BG

    As non-runners, we can only imagine that every mile gets harder, so mile 13 should be worth more than mile 1. We’re in for $0.50 for the first mile, $1 for the second mile, etc—-math nerd brother says that’s a factoral donation. Run janine run!

  6. Tom Papak

    Hey Janine, put me down for $1 a mile. Carolyn and I just got back from Key West, and it was fantastic! Best of luck with everything.


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