Architects for Society (AFS) is a group of allied professionals from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and India. They came together to establish a global non-profit design practice in 2015 with a mission to enhance the built environment of disadvantaged communities through affordable, innovative architecture and design.
Architecture + Design
AFS provides architectural design services to underprivileged communities by collaborating with other nonprofit organizations, governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and individuals working on community improvement projects. AFS supports these efforts by providing building, planning, design, construction documentation, 3D visualization, Building Information Modeling (BIM), construction material studies, rehabilitation studies, urban planning studies and feasibility studies. These services are offered by AFS on a sliding compensation scale, whereby the financial capacity of the client determines the assessment of fees.
One such project is in response to current temporary refugee shelters, which are beset with a number of social, economic, and cultural problems. AFS has created housing solutions for displaced individuals and families that are rapidly deployable, long-term, dignified, and easily integrated into the urban fabric of large cities. The Hex House is based on an insulated metal panel technology that is low cost, can be shipped flat-pack to a suitable site, and easily assembled by the end-user. By streamlining the construction process to its bare essentials and allowing the end-users to build their own homes using well designed, prefabricated elements, AFS has been able to realize a substantial cost savings.
Art + Education
AFS educates the public, practitioners and government policy makers about specific problems, as well as the positive contributions disadvantaged communities have made to their built environments. AFS aims to publish articles, research papers, books as well as organize seminars, conventions and exhibitions to showcase its projects and research to the public. A key component of their education program is to promote the interests of disadvantaged communities in a positive light and to stimulate the public to support development efforts.
AFS undertakes research in the areas of low income housing, slums, informal settlements, government policy, sustainable building materials, low tech construction techniques and earth architecture. AFS focuses its research on construction innovations, economic viability, social connectivity, major adversities and societal perceptions of these communities. AFS pursues research collaboration with academics, practitioners, NGOs, government agencies and through the application for research grants. AFS has plans to document their research in an online library to serve as a comprehensive educational resource in the areas of low income housing, informal housing and low tech building solutions. By engaging in research AFS aims to provide scientifically sound solutions to the real problems of disadvantaged communities.
To learn more about AFS and how you can help, visit their website at architectsforsociety.org