Chana has developed a new class for the University of Chicago titled the Life of Buildings. The studio examines what happens to a building after it is designed and built. How do particular design decisions influence human experience and behavior? Which parts of the building align with its intended use, and what are surprising outcomes or changes? How do buildings perform, evolve, and adapt over time? These questions aim to provide students with a deeper understanding of the built environment and the series of decisions that shaped them. For our second class, we visited the Chicago Cultural Center, originally the first Chicago Public Library, and students captured their research and observations in a short film.
University of Chicago and Smart Museum hosted a panel discussion titled The Life Cycle of Materials. Chana joined Dan Peterman, Alex Enarson, Jack Schroeder, and Luke Joyner as we discussed the future of buildings and materials. This event was part of the Art History Departments’s Architecture Open Studio series which exposes students to ideas and work about the built environment.
Chana joins the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture’s faculty to teach a core design studio. The class introduces students to foundational architectural principles and encourages creative exploration between critical thought and physical product. Here the students pin up their second project where they used pencil, paper, and xacto knife to explore field conditions and their geometric constructions.
Matthew Okazaki has been selected as Densho’s Artist-in-Residence this year. For his project, he will use photographs and records found in the Densho archives to study the World War II American concentration camps through a series of scale models. In addition to his role as APB principal, Matt has an interdisciplinary art practice that explores themes of longing and belonging. Here is an excerpt from his proposal:
“My grandfather spent his youth in the American concentration camps of World War II. They stayed in horse stables and converted army barracks. He says that there was so much dust. In the middle of the war, in the middle of the desert, surrounded by barbed wire fences and outposts and armed guards, it was a place-between, where the conflict of identity was made manifest. A placeless place for those inexplicably extracted from their former lives, from their former selves. Barren architectures in barren landscapes, these “homes” were hardly that — blank walls, a stove, a lone light bulb — devoid of any semblance and sense of a domesticity. And yet, despite the incredible trauma, looking back my grandfather told me he sometimes took comfort there in the desert. Perhaps much of this can be attributed to the resilience of the people imprisoned, who quickly began making furniture, toys, curtains, and keepsakes from scrap lumber and found objects. They began gardening in the yards, transforming areas into impossibly lush oases in these desolate regions. Here, by transforming the sterility of the desert and the architecture into makeshift homes, an act of quiet rebellion had taken place. A form of perseverance, of gaman, not to be viewed as reactive, but as a radically projective act. For people like my grandfather, like it or not this was home, and so a home it would become.”
Architecture for Public Benefit, along with our incredible nonprofit partner, Aaron's Presents, was selected as a finalist for the Sasaki Foundation Design Grant. We had a great time sharing our proposal for a youth-led design process that advocates for the passion, talent, and vision of young people. By introducing them as full partners in the design process, we not only enrich the discussion and create a more diverse set of solutions, but we also empower these future leaders with the skills and strategies to shape their own cities. Thanks to the Sasaki Foundation for hosting such a fun event and congratulations to all the finalists!
The Boston Public Library and Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics have selected Architecture for Public Benefit to design the outdoor space of nine library branches. We are excited to be working with our partners Design4Equity, YouthBuild Boston, and A05 Studio. Our interdisciplinary team will be collaborating with patrons, community members, and librarians to reimagine how the public engages with the library. This project is an opportunity to bring the library, its services, and its spaces beyond the institution's traditional boundaries and introduce new ways of meeting the library’s critical mission: “Free to All”.
The Boston Society for Architecture interviewed Chana along with 4 other recipients of the AIA Young Architects Award. Chana discussed our critical mission at APB to serve a broad public and shared what she’s working on now and what’s next. Read the article here.
“Architecture for Public Benefit introduces a new model of practice in order to reach a broader public. We partner with nonprofits and mission-driven organizations and solve their unique challenges by thinking creatively about the funding and fee structure. There is also incredible alignment throughout the design process because the projects are all founded on and fueled by a shared vision.”
Architecture for Public Benefit’s founder, Chana Haouzi AIA, has been awarded a 2022 AIA Young Architects Award! The award is given by the American Institute of Architects and it recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.
"As a licensed architect, Chana Haouzi, AIA, is driven by a sense of responsibility, recognizing that good design holds the potential to address many of society’s issues, transform communities, and change lives. Throughout her career, Haouzi has distinguished herself as a versatile and immensely talented architect as well as a leader with a clear and distinct vision. Her work spans the public and private sectors and, through innovative design solutions, bolsters the built environment and advances architectural education."
Chana joined Northeastern University’s faculty in 2014 and has taught a wide range of the core curriculum, including foundational design, representation, and urban design studios. In her new role, Chana will serve as Associate Teaching Professor of Design for Environmental Justice and Public Good in the Built Environment. Chana looks forward to delivering innovative courses that promote socially engaged and inclusive design practices and leverage the students' incredible enthusiasm to make a difference in their community.