As many of you may already know, news broke last Friday that Architecture for Humanity shut down after 15 years of providing architecture and design services for communities in need. As a collaborating partner for five years now, and hosts of Nathaniel’s last workshop with our students as we speak, we were sad to hear the news from the inside.

Nathaniel’s two-week workshop starting today will be highlighted by his participation in the first of our new conference series Development by Design: Dialogues in Architecture, Equity and Development, conceived by our master program to highlight the role of architects and designers in contexts of poverty, disaster, conflict and rapid urbanization.

In this first one-on-one dialogue titled Regenerative Design this Thursday at 7pm at our partner location Roca Barcelona Gallery, Nathaniel 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.

This will be Nathaniel’s last workshop as Educational Outreach for Architecture for Humanity, and he says he’s enthusiastic to be working with Masters candidates at UIC for the 5th consecutive year. 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.

On the close of AFH, he reflects, “It’s the end of an era…and it’s been great to have been a part of the Architecture for Humanity team. We’ll keep the faith: Design Like You Give a Damn.”

As covered in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and ArchDaily, the organization was forced to close due to lack of funding and a rising deficit. One thing is for certain, however, as was expressed by John Cary, the former executive director of Public Architecture, a nonprofit based in San Francisco. “While there are open questions about the culture and finances of this organization over many years, there is no question that they put humanitarian design on the map.”

As for Nathaniel, who garnered attention for his work with Native American communities and his collaboration on the Plastiki, he will continue his work with organizations like Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative also focusing on exemplary appropriate design with communities in need.

To see Nathaniel Corum at our design conference, 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.

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