It Takes a Village (And an Architect)


In “The (Limited) Power of Good Intentions” (p. 66), Julie Lasky investigates why socially responsible design initiatives often fail, despite a surfeit of good design, goodwill, and real need. Meanwhile, curators at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, have put together an exhibition on a handful of such initiatives that have been successfully realized. Opening this month, Small Scale, Big Change presents 11 architecture projects (built or under construction) in underserved communities around the world. Metropolis readers might recognize Rural Studio’s low-income housing in rural Alabama or Hashim Sarkis’s colorful residential complex for the displaced fishermen of Tyre, Lebanon. Other projects—like Noero Wolff Architects’ Red Location Museum of Struggle, in South Africa, and Diébédo Francis Kéré’s 2001 primary school in Burkina Faso—may be less familiar but are no less extraordinary. The exhibition runs from October 3, 2010, to January 3, 2011.

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