Architecture for Humanity Challenges Designers to Develop Mobile Health Clinic to Combat HIV/AIDS Crisis in Africa


On May 1st, Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit organization that promotes architecture and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises,launched its 2002 International Design Competition. For this year's project, participants are asked to develop designs for a fully equipped, mobile, medical unit and HIV/AIDS treatment center specifically for use in Africa. 

Since AIDS was first diagnosed 20 years ago, 65 million people have been infected with HIV; 25 million have died. The disease continues to spread at an ever-alarming rate. Time and again medical professionals in the field and HIV/AIDS researchers, in the U.S. and around the globe, have stated that improved distribution of basic healthcare services is the key to defeating this devastating pandemic. 

No place illustrates the need for improved access to healthcare more than Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, close to 6,000 people die of AIDS every day and an additional 14,000 are infected with HIV according to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. By the launch of this competition, this year alone 1,000,000 people died of AIDS. It is estimated that three-quarters of the world's AIDS population lives in Sub-Saharan Africa; most have no access to lifesaving drugs, testing facilities or even basic preventative care. One of the major factors inhibiting medical professionals in Africa from treating this disease is the inability to access vast areas of the continent with adequately equipped facilities. 

About the Competition 

On May 1, 2002, Architecture for Humanity launched the Mobile HIV/AIDS Health Clinic Design Competition. The goal of this competition is to create a fully equipped mobile unit to be used by medical professionals throughout the African continent. In addition to testing, prevention and treatment, this easily transportable unit will disseminate information regarding the virus and provide basic healthcare services. 

"Architects and designers have not only an opportunity," said Frank Gehry, Architecture for Humanity advisory board member, "but a professional obligation to help to end this crisis. We need to employ the same caliber of design talent and innovative use of materials we use in commercial projects to create a viable solution to the HIV/AIDS epidemic." 

Submission Deadline and Criteria 

A detailed set of design criteria, developed by a team of advisors, is available at www.architectureforhumanity.org. The deadline for design submissions is November 1, 2002. In mid-November a team of internationally renowned architects, HIV/AIDS professionals, and representatives from relief and research organizations in the field will jury the entries. Finalists will be announced on World AIDS day (December 1, 2002) at an exhibition to be held in New York City. Money raised from the $35* entry fee, donations and additional fundraising activities will be used to build a prototype of the winning concept. Once developed, it is hoped that refined versions of this cost-effective and mobile design can be built for Africa-and eventually, easily replicated in other regions around the world. 

About Architecture for Humanity 

Founded in 1999, Architecture for Humanity is a volunteer non-profit organization set up to promote architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. Noted advisory board members include architects Shigeru Ban (Japan), Frank Gehry (U.S.), Rodney Harber (South Africa) and Reuben Mutiso (Kenya). For this project, the advisory board has been joined by HIV/AIDS medical professionals Kate Bourne (IAVI, U.S.), Dr. Johannes van Dam (Horizons Project, Population council), Dr. Sunanda Ray (SafAIDS, Zimbabwe), and Dr. Michael Sweat (John Hopkins University, U.S.). 

In 1999, Architecture for Humanity launched its first venture, an international competition to design five-year transitional housing for Kosovo's returning refugees. With more than 200 entries from 30 countries, the competition was an overwhelming success. Selected entries were exhibited in four countries and were featured in more than 30 newspapers and design publications. Publicity from these exhibitions helped in part to raise $80,000. All proceeds were donated to War Child, an international children's charity, and used to create housing, schools and medical facilities in Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other war-torn areas. Prototypes of two winning entries have already been built; two more are currently in development. 

Cameron Sinclair 
Founder/Executive Director 

For more information visit http://www.architectureforhumanity.org or contact: csinclair@architectureforhumanity.org
*Entry fee is waived from submissions from developing countries.

Basic Competition Info:

Type: Open
Registration Deadline: November 1, 2002
Submission Deadline: November 1, 2002
Open to: All
Entry Fee: US $35 (entry fee waived for submissions from developing countries)
Awards: 1st,2nd & 3rd places, with 10 honorable mentions. Special award for
best student entry. International Exhibition, Publication and prototype
built of winning entry.
Jury: Shigeru Ban, Reuben Mutiso, Rick Joy, Kate Bourne (IAVI) and Dr.
Peter Lamptey (IMPACT)


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