Development by Design: Dialogue with Nathaniel Corum of Architecture for Humanity

By January 15, 2015Blog, Events, Featured

Next Thursday January 22nd, we will kick off our Development by Design: Dialogues in Architecture, Equity and Development with special guest Nathaniel Corum of Architecture for Humanity. Organized in collaboration with Roca, the series was conceived by our master program to highlight the role of architects and designers in contexts of poverty, disaster, conflict and rapid urbanization. In each of the four sessions, we pair up a special guest from respected agencies and NGOs from the development field with one of our own staff and hash out the key issues surrounding the practice of architecture and design particularly in the field of development and in the construction of cities in general. (Register now!)

In this first dialogue, Nathaniel Corum of Architecture for Humanity will sit with our program’s codirector Carmen Mendoza to discuss how design can be used as a tool for cultural, social and physical regeneration. Nathaniel will talk us through his projects and explain how diverse clients, cultures, environments, and sites become foundational assets and springboards for appropriate design responses, in order to understand the widening range of opportunities, resources, challenges and pitfalls related to humanitarian design/build projects and participatory design processes.

Nathaniel is a returning guest professor of our program and will be leading a workshop with our students for two weeks starting Monday January 19th. Check out this video interview and this one from previous courses, as well as the Rio Floods workshop that culminated in a field trip to Petropolis, Brazil with our students several years ago. Nathaniel is head of Educational Outreach for Architecture for Humanity, which our program has collaborated since 2011, when the organization’s former cofounder Cameron Sinclair gave an open lecture at COAC as part of the workshop he led at our program.

Update: Architecture for Humanity has just announced its closure last week. Although sad to hear the news, we are thrilled to have Nathaniel with us in his last collaboration as Educational Outreach for Architecture for Humanity and proud to have partnered with the organization for the past 5 years.

To attend, just register online and let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event. We hope to see you at this first session of our Development by Design series at our partner’s stunning venue Roca Barcelona Gallery next Thursday at 7pm! Don’t forget to check the entire program for the next three sessions featuring UN-Habitat, World Vision and architect Teddy Cruz! Stay tuned for updates here and on Facebook and Twitter.



Nathaniel Corum | Born in Boston and trained as an architect, Nathaniel Corum is currently partner of Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative in Enterprise Green Communities and Partner of the Educational Outreach Program of International Design Studios in Architecture for Humanity. With his work, Nathaniel supports culturally and environmentally sustainable affordable housing through capacity building, technical assistance, and research of best practices. He brings academia closer to the real-world challenges by connecting students in workshops and design build projects, thus supporting Architecture for Humanity’s mission of providing architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and bringing services to communities in need. Some of his collaborations include post-tsunami Japan (through Pac Rim Studio), post-flood Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), post-quake Christchurch (New Zealand) and Port-au-Prince (Haiti).

Carmen Mendoza | Originally from Bolivia, Carmen obtained her architectural degree from the Autonomous University of Central America in Costa Rica and developed her PhD in Urban Design and Planning in the Polytechnic University of Catalunya in Barcelona. She is now Associate Professor and co-director of the Master of International Cooperation in Sustainable Emergency Architecture at ESARQ-UIC. Her research focuses on the analysis of territorial structures and the development of integrated approaches in urban regeneration projects, with specific attention to the physical and social regeneration of degraded neighborhoods in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona and informal settlements in South America. As member of the Steering Committee of UIC’s Master’s Degree in Urbanism (Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes) and as co-director of the Urban Design and Regional Planning Lab (LAU), she supports holistic design processes, considering scale and needs of local communities in order to achieve sustainable development.

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