We have been working with villagers from Masoro Rwanda for the past three years to build houses for families and individuals who do not have access to safe, and secure homes. The first house in this project was completed in December of 2013. We have been fundraising since then and this summer work on the second house began. Today that project is nearing completion.
Alex Mcinnis, James Setzler, and Yutaka Sho have been working on documenting poems by architecture students in Rwanda. This collection of poems explores the cultural, political, and built environment of these students and how they envision their futures. This is an ongoing collaboration between GA Collaborative and filmmaker Alex Mcinnis. Alex has been working with us for three years on this and other projects.
Our mission is to bring the value of good design to those with little or no access to it. For GA Collaborative, ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO GOOD DESIGN.
At the core of this mission is a belief in the importance of research and craft in the design process and the value of sharing of that knowledge and experience with others. Founded in 2008, GA Collaborative is a non-profit collaborative group of designers, practitioners, and educators with expertise in architectural design, landscape design, industrial design, and the visual arts. We have been involved with projects in Albania, Bangladesh, Burundi, Haiti, Rwanda, Sudan, and the U.S. that range in scale, program, and complexity with this mission in mind.
We work with partners on projects that can have an intelligent and sustained impact on communities, and the individuals most in need of productive spaces and design foresight. To this end, we work with communities and organizations to find appropriate funding, develop design methodologies, and create strategies for sustainable growth.
Our organization focuses on three areas of social impact: research, design, and education.
Design solutions rely on research to gain understanding in the cultural, material, and socio-economic issues for each project. Engaging in research allows us to build relationships with partners, clients, and governing organizations. We build collaborations with the construction industry and those who share a common vision.
We consider new and old building technologies to find the right balance of practical, cultural, and community needs to best serve our local partners. We design the process of building as much as the building itself. These include materials and manufacturing research, utilizing local knowledge and skill bases, and placing emphasis on teaching best practices.
We consider education to be a primary goal of our work. Learning through doing transcends formal educational models, allowing our projects to become workshops whenever possible and appropriate.
We have experience working in a number of project models including, traditional client/contractor, community-based, and low-skilled training endeavors. We have worked with the UN to develop accessibility guidelines, corporate partners to ensure they are best meeting the needs of the local community, and individual families seeking accessible and responsible housing.
This experience spans projects in Albania, Bangladesh, Burundi, Haiti, Rwanda, Sudan, and the U.S. that range in scale, program, and complexity with our core mission in mind.
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Yutaka Sho’s research focuses on the roles of architecture and planning in development, humanitarian and post-calamity contexts. She has researched and practiced in various countries including Lebanon, Bangladesh, Turkey, Uganda, Japan, and the U.S. Yutaka has taught architectural design studios and theory at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in Rwanda. Yutaka is the recipient of the 2013 Arnold W. Brunner Grant of the New York Center for Architecture, the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation, and 2007 Deborah Norden Fund from the Architectural League of NY.
James Setzler is a designer and fabricator with a broad background in both contemporary and traditional building technologies. His interests have led him to work in both architecture and contracting offices, and his work as an estimator and construction manager lends him a holistic view of the design field. He has managed the design and construction of award-winning projects that include museums, high-end residences, and master plans. He has experience with historic rehabilitation of existing buildings, overseeing sensitive integrations with contemporary additions.
Zaneta Hong is a Lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and recipient of the 2013-2014 Daniel Urban Kiley Teaching Fellowship in Landscape Architecture. Her research into landscape material systems and technologies has emerged in numerous material collections and has been cited in publications. Prior to her appointment, Zaneta was a Lecturer in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia and the Materials Lab Curator at the University of Texas in Austin.
Michael Leighton Beaman is an Associate Editor for ii Journal, Design and Technology writer for Architectural Record, and Founder + Principal of Beta-field. His research and writing focuses on the theory and application of technology in Architecture and Landscape, and its implications for design culture, sustainability, and socially conscious design practices. Michael was the 2010-2012 University of Virginia Teaching Fellow in Architecture, was an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas in Austin. Currently, Michael is a visiting critic at the Rhode Island School of Design.
GA Collaborative is a 501(c)3 organization. Together with our partners, you have contributed to The Masoro Village Project, Stitchworks, Art/Relief, and our many endeavors into a reality. If you would like to contribute to any of our projects, please consider a donation - your contribution is tax deductible. To our many contributors, thank you!
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We are always looking for projects we can contribute our experiences in design, education, and research. If your community or organization are interested in working with us, or if you would like to know more about us and our work, let us know.