Good Deeds, Good Design

Community Service through Architecture

Bryan Bell

     6.125 × 8.75 in (15.6 × 22.2 cm)
240 pages
150 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 12/1/2003
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568983912

It may come as no surprise that only two percent of new homebuyers work directly with an architect to design the space in which they will live--indeed, architects are usually seen as a luxury most of us, the other ninety-eight percent, can't afford.

Yet, why shouldn't more people call on the services of architects? With fierce competition for few commissions, why do architects not seek out other sources of work and income? Now, acting within larger institutions or on their own, many architects are taking local initiatives to address the underserved, particularly the poor. Good Deeds, Good Design presents the best new thoughts and practices in this emerging movement toward an architecture that serves a broader population.

In this book, architecture firms, community design centers, design/build programs, and service-based organizations offer their plans for buildings for the other ninety-eight percent. Twenty-eight essays and case studies illustrate successes and failures and raise both design and social issues.

The success of Rural Studio suggests that there is a large and growing number of people who would like to see good design for all. With its clear, direct, and inspiring message, and numerous illustrated examples, Good Deeds, Good Design follows this important story.

Bryan Bell is founder of Design Corps, a nonprofit agency providing architecture to those traditionally underserved by the profession. Design Corps will be included in this year's Cooper Hewitt Inside Design Now exhibition. Bell organizes the Structures for Inclusion conferences and resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Reader Comments

Two Questions (rating 5 out of 5):
Every line of this book addresses the two questions asked in Robert Gutman's introduction. "What can the architectural community do to increase the supply of housing for low-income groups?" and "How can architects enlarge their contribution to housing design and production?" The essays describe new kinds of partnerships that address these questions and the crisis of inaction that we feel in our bones. For those who would seek to engage these problems, these essays show portals to social justice, the work of building of a civil society and the joy of linking community with design.
- Rex Curry from Pratt Institute (PICCED) (11/21/2003)

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