Architecture for Humanity: Kate Stohr Speaks


Whenever we talk about Architecture for Humanity, Design Like You Give a Damn or the Open Architecture Network, it is always Cameron Sinclair in the picture; never co-founder and spouse Kate Stohr. We couldn't even find a decent sized picture of her, and have to put up a house that AFH built instead. However she sat still long enough for Heather Livingston of AIArchitect to get an interview. Kate's biggest surprise:

How misunderstood the profession of architecture is. It never occurred to me that people really don’t understand architecture. They don’t understand where the architect’s work ends and the contractor’s work begins. They’re confused and many people don’t see the value of having an architect as a part of the program. When we put architects out in the field and they begin to work with community groups, we find that they become the anchors. Communities are so grateful, and they come back and begin to understand the power of having somebody think thoughtfully about their space and help them to implement their vision.

Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair
All of these things are second nature to us, but not to somebody who’s managing a community group or trying to bring services to people who sometimes are living on less than $2 a day. It’s exciting to see them appreciate this and to see how architecture can be used in other ways than the conventional wisdom. That’s the most exciting thing: expanding the definition of architecture and making it more valuable to people. The interesting side effect is that our funders begin to appreciate the value of architecture and of having an architect involved in a program. Overall, it raises the profile of the profession as a whole.

::AIArchitect via ::Archinect

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