Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Architecture as Aid

The Drawings + Documents Archive's mission, as mentioned above in the banner for the blog, is entirely focused on Indiana. However, the Archive is physically situated within a college that has a global world view. Ball State College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) students and faculty come from all over the planet, and students regularly conduct internships and study abroad during their time here. CAP also strives to help, through architecture, landscape architecture, planning, or historic preservation, communities as close as Muncie and as far away as New Delhi. For that extraordinary reason, you will see some postings here about architecture outside of Indiana.

One fascinating example of helping communities through architecture is happening in the high Himilaya of Northeast India, where exiled Tibetans are building new lives. American John Ullman first visited the region in 2007 to fulfill an internship requirement for his architecture license. Once in Tawang, Arucnacnal Pradesh, he experienced this impoverished community's need for architecture and decided to do something about it. Ullman organized Architecture for Tibet to improve the lives of these people, particularly children, who have had to leave their homes in Tibet. He also hopes to help preserve their culture at the same time. Their first project is to build an Academic Center for the Manjushree Orphanage, to replace their current schoolhouse.

You can learn more about Architecture for Tibet and the work they are doing, complete with photographs, maps, and architectural drawings, at http://www.architecturefortibet.org/Architecture_for_Tibet.html

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