on affordable housing/community design

"Studies of the vernacular prove that architects, planners, and developers are not needed for people to live decently. Civilizations will survive without them. However, in today's world, we have allowed the system to sacrifice basic human needs for the sake of other agendas in the building of our communities.

Community organizations need architects, but they need them to take on the role of advocacy, rather than just design. Architects need to be part of the entire development process and must become a part of the community in order to be able to speak for that community. Ironically, the architect must work to restore the community so that they are not in need of his or her services any longer.

Perhaps then, the role of the architect should be amended to that of a facilitator whose responsibility it is to assure that the built form does not impede the flow of life that was meant to be. It is the architect's responsibility to know what techniques, materials, processes, and practices hinder a community's growth and what nurtures that growth. The architect is not on a different level than any other community member, but must recognize his or her role within that community.

The architect must all at once be a designer, a builder, a construction worker, a psychologist, a social worker, a minister, a parent, a sibling, a child, and most importantly, a friend. "

MJ Divino from, "The Paradox of Architecture: People know how to House themselves"


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