Empowerment & Architecture if Informality

Let’s start with definition from Macmillan Dictionary of “empower”


1. to give someone more control over their life or more power to do something

2. to give a person or organization the legal authority to do something

3. Make (someone) stronger and more content, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights: movements to empower the poor

Empowerment also includes encouraging, and developing the skills for, self-sufficiency,
with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group


collaboration with government

collaboration with communities

educational programs


There are a few quotes from Rebel Architecture “A traditional future” related to the education of community and architects
(official website http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/rebelarchitecture)

“We helped you. You help them. They can help someone else.”

“Whole vernacular system works very well because there is no need to rely on anyone.”

“We must always keep the context in mind. Where are we building. For whom? What’s weather like? What materials are available?”

“We train students. They will go and work in the areas they come from.”

“Earlier we studied books that the British gave us. Now we’ve written some of our own books. We need to write a lot more, because our interpretation will be different.”

Government is needed for development but in collaboration with people, not against them:

“We want government to come and partner with us. We want development. Development is part of our rights.”

“Government could have used the money better like in more participatory projects, where people have a say.”

Long-term thinking and collaboration are the chance for a prosperous future for all of us.

Community engagement should be encouraged at any age. Something that gives people skills and knowledge, so they can have their say and make a change.

“Innovation is only valuable if it is shared.”

“Design Like You Give a Damn” edited by Architecture for Humanity Published in 2012 by Abrams

Let’s share our knowledge, combine our skills and make a positive change where we live.


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