AWB-Oregon provides opportunities to the Oregon architectural community to engage in humanitarian work regionally and internationally. We are a volunteer-based organization that organizes, designs, and builds projects that address urgent and chronic conditions worldwide.
Our first projects responded to natural disasters. The scope of our mission has evolved as our team leaders have taken on projects ranging from a multi-building campus for a high school in Ethiopia to neighborhood parks in Portland and emergency preparedness planning. Our educational outreach includes partnering with Portland State University and University of Oregon indesign studios and charrettes, as well as offering community workshops and training programs.
- Connect the Oregon design and building community with people and projects that require architectural assistance.
- Address urgent and chronic conditions of inadequate infrastructure, community facilities, and shelter.
- Work closely with host communities to develop long-term, sustainable solutions.
- Use site planning, building practices and technologies that are culturally appropriate and environmentally responsible.
- Provide opportunities for architecture students and interns to gain experience in service, collaboration, design, and construction.
- Respect the culture and work closely with the people being served by our efforts.
- Assess potential projects prior to committing to participation in order to understand the needs of the community, the availability of appropriate volunteers, institutional and material resources, and the feasibility of providing effective assistance.
- Assemble interdisciplinary teams. Prepare and support participants to ensure effective involvement.
- Collaborate with relief and development agencies, government entities, building professionals and educational institutions in interdisciplinary teams. Involve local labor, resources and technology. Utilize charette techniques to maximize involvement and clarify potential solutions.
- Provide design solutions that focus on the shelter and related needs of those being served, while carefully considering culturally and climate-appropriate solutions by utilizing the best practices essential to provide sustainable solutions.
- Support each project team by recruiting volunteers, making contacts within the professional community, providing publicity, legal support and budgeting, and conducting fundraising for the work of the organization.
- Develop programs within Oregon to engage professionals and students in local and worldwide humanitarian assistance efforts that need their skills and experience.