CITIZEN ARCHITECT

   

There is side to architecture, less glamorous and perhaps a bit more hazardous, where architects are working in public service and volunteering to help rebuild and improve our communities.   The American Institute of Architects (AIA) calls this role “Citizen Architect.”  

My goal  is to organize, empower, and support communities to come together and see new opportunities so that people feel connected and become self-sufficient, and communities more resilient.

A 2010 Architects Without Borders post earthquake work trip to Haiti provided a sneak peak into these alternate roles, architects serving in disaster response and community service.  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)

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 joined forces with Namaste Nepal on a rebuilding program to help Nepali families recover from the April and May 2015 earthquakes.

Today, I work for the City of Madison Planning Department and serve as Vice-Chair of the AIA Disaster Assistance Committee, and continue to act as the AIA WI Co-State Disaster Assistance Coordinator.

Join in the conversation!

24 thoughts on “CITIZEN ARCHITECT

  1. Linda Linssen

    Congratulations!
    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!

    Reply
  2. Jerian

    Janine,
    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,
    Jerian

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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.”
    http://dmc.engr.wisc.edu/Publications/Articles_and_Papers/Disaster_Managment.lasso

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply

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