This volume explores architecture and work dedicated to improving the health and living conditions of disadvantaged populations and groups affected by disaster or war.
The health crises that we witness on the horizon today cannot be tackled successfully unless we first solve the political problems that are the cause behind so much inequalities.
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The considerable efforts made in recent years to improve healthcare conditions in less economically prosperous countries have achieved only partial success. Every day, we witness the human and social consequences of the disastrous conditions in which almost a billion people live, and the unacceptable inequalities in accessing basic care.
Building hospitals, healthcare and welfare facilities is crucial, but it is not enough. We also need medical personnel and funds to operate the equipment and to buy medicine. We need to ensure there are roads, and the means for the population to access the available facilities, and to ensure that war and terrorism do not render them unusable. The health crises that we witness on the horizon today cannot be tackled successfully unless we first solve the political problems that are the cause behind so much inequality between people.
What does architecture have to do with all this? In fact, there is a significant connection. It depends on how familiar one is with the social implications, the human dimension of the site, and the willingness to discuss the project with locals to encompass culture, traditions and people a long way from one's roots.
The massive migration flows we have seen in recent years between North Africa and Europe, and their tragedies, present us with a challenge: to turn tragedy into opportunity. While some architects propose Schinkelian solutions, walled, and autarchic cities that enclose differences, others immerse themselves in this new ocean of architecture, offering specific and collaborative interventions for mutual enrichment.
Addressing the healthcare emergency of migrant populations in different ways, respecting the dignity of every human being, a symbiotic approach to helping people: these are the real challenges facing the Mediterranean people, and the global community today.
Today, in the field of humanitarian, cultural and educational architecture, it is increasingly felt that there is less need for the periodic intervention of politicians and rock-stars, and large donations offered to international relief organizations that end up perishing in the tangle of an over-complicated structure.
Instead, we find an increased awareness of the need for sincere and passionate commitments free from ideology and dogma.
With an EXCLUSIVE interview with Nerea Amorós Elorduy and Tomà Berlanda, founders of Active Social Architecture.
With projects and texts by:
Active Social Architecture, Basurama, Catalytic Action, Estudio ELGUE, F8 architecture, FAREstudio, H&P Architects, Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects, José Selgas, Kéré Architecture, Nerea Amorós Elorduy, Orkidstudio, Riccardo Vannucci, TAMassociati, Tomà Berlanda, Unmaterial Studio, Urko Sanchez Architects, VANDERSALM-aim
Boundaries is a quarterly magazine on sustainable, socially engaged and humanitarian architecture. Each issue is monographic, with full texts in English and Italian (facing), and all articles are accompanied by notes and a bibliography for further reading. ISSN 2239-0332.