Mind & Matter


Reality Hits

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Haiti aftermath. Photo by Jorge Cruz/AP.


Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair once said that if his wish comes true, future societies will view architects as humanitarians—based on the meaningful design contributions that architects will make regularly for people in need.

For those of us feeling helpless after the Haiti quake and longing to make a difference, there is some sobering news: rebuilding will take a long time.

In an article published today in the Huffington Post, Cameron Sinclair writes that we should not listen to false promises about quick recoveries delivered by some media channels. Rather, we should stomach the reality that reconstruction could take up to five years, with permanent housing not being complete until one year (at the earliest).

This news should not weaken our resolve to help Haiti recover, however—it only means that it will take time and dogged perseverance. To read more details from Sinclair’s article and to learn how you can help, please see the Architecture for Humanity website. Perhaps we can help make Sinclair’s wish come true.




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.