The Architecture for Humanity-Denver chapter will mark its first anniversary on Sept. 4 during the First Friday Santa Fe Art Walk.

An exhibition of current and past Architecture for Humanity projects will be on display alongside works from Boulder artist ML Robles in Semple Brown Design’s space at 1160 Santa Fe Dr., Denver.

Architecture for Humanity provides environmentally and socially responsible pro-bono design services to local and international communities in need. Working in conjunction with other humanitarian-based organizations and community networking, it aims to continually promote a better way of life for the world’s underprivileged through architecture. Clients include community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions and foundations.

The Architecture for Humanity/Denver chapter currently has 97 members from local firms, including H+L Architecture, RNL, EDAW, Fentress Architects, klipp, Semple Brown Design and Humphries Poli Architects, among dozens of others.
Projects undertaken by Architecture for Humanity-Denver in its first year include the Hawaii Christian Secondary School in Kampala, Uganda, the Bethesda Hospital Surgery Center in Borneo, Indonesia, and the El Monte Ministry Base near Cuernavaca, Mexico.

“The best part about working with our clientele is that they are so overwhelmingly thankful for the services we are providing,” said Sarah Karlan, Architecture for Humanity-Denver co-director. “It makes all the hard work worth it; we just wish we could do more.”

Architects, engineers and other design professionals are often needed most where they can least be afforded. For this reason, thoughtful, inclusive design provided by Architecture for Humanity seeks to create lasting change in deprived communities through:

• Helping to alleviate poverty and providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services;

• Bringing safe shelters to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations;

• Rebuilding communities and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas;

• Mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements;

• Creating spaces to meet the needs of those with disabilities and other at-risk populations;

• Reducing the footprint of the built environment and addressing climate change.

The support and talents of volunteers are essential to the success of Architecture for Humanity’s projects around the world. The organization encourages community groups to get involved in the design process, setting goals and working together to achieve them. Each year, 10,000 people directly benefit from structures designed by Architecture for Humanity.

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