No need to get on my bike

My minds racing at nineteen to the dozen.  Reuniting with a friend first met on an Architecture Sans Frontières Building Communities workshop in Japan has had me hankering for life on the open road.  He’s out in Haiti working as an architect for Save the Children and experiences shared over drinks are inspirational.  Brilliant to see someone tackling work in this difficult and often bureaucratically bound sector without losing sight of the big picture and the need to drive change.

To call international development challenging is to undercook the situation.  Take just one contentious issue to bring perspective:  Balancing the need to be seen to be making progress with donations with the length of time it takes to engage with a new community and discover their real needs and how as built environment professionals we are best placed to help.

Fascinating to hear the differences between life as an NGO employee at the disaster relief end of a mission compared to my own experiences of being one of the last three buleh in Aceh.  When disaster strikes communities masses descend to do what they can, forging their own community in the process.

Motivating to witness these people reunited at recent events.  An evening with SPONGE and conference at CENDEP provided sounding boards for exploring the remote role of professionals.  How these people may be best placed to address the need to create standards, learn from past efforts and drive collaboration.  There’s lots to be done.  On that note, I’m going to be working with Architecture for Humanity over the coming months, hopefully a learning curve for us all.

So, whilst I miss the Aceh community that took me under its wing with their celebrations of life, right now it’s time to become engrossed by London’s offerings.


About @ngela

Unexpected Consequences is a blog by Angela Crowther, a young engineer working in the Built Environment. Currently supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering and UKRC's Ingenious program the blog’s aim is to raise awareness of all the exciting opportunities the world of engineering has to offer to hopefully stimulate others into joining the industry.
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2 Responses to No need to get on my bike

  1. Jan says:

    There’s certainly a major contribution we engineers and techies can make by working together! I’m lunching today with Angela Brady chair of women in architecture. Watch out to see what exciting things we can cook up 🙂

    • @ngela says:

      Hi Jan,

      Fantastic to hear from you… better collaboration definitely seems to be the way to make things happen. I had the privilege to undertake the embodied carbon study for Expedition Engineering’s and Hopkins Architect’s, 2012 London Olympic Velodrome. The story that unfolds as you travel through design development clearly shows how the velodrome’s efficiency was increased by close interaction between design team disciplines. A great ‘how to’ case study for driving forward the industry’s sustainability agenda.

      I’m looking forward to hearing more about what was on the menu for your lunch!

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