General Architecture Collaborative empowers people to shape their own built environment. We are a design nonprofit focused on buildings and landscapes that address housing, health, and education for developing and vulnerable communities. Our approach to empowerment is grounded in community engagement, training & education, and design innovation. These three principles guide how we design and implement projects.
Founded in 2008, GA Collaborative is a group of design, 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. We believe in the power of design to enrich the lives of others.
Our goal is to bring the value of design to communities with little access to it. That means working with communities to understand their needs and desires. It also means involving communities in the design and building process. We believe that to make great spaces we have to foster community engagement, through outreach, participatory practices, and research.
Education & Training
As a non-profit we work to ensure that we do not create relationships of dependence. independence for communities. That is why we go beyond a passive design process - we work with communities and project partners to develop methods, techniques and best practices which can be shared with everyone involved. We prioritize education and training in many ways. We work with and employing university students on area projects. We work with community leaders on how to organize construction cooperatives. We learn from and incorporate local construction practices. And, we work with area artisans to contribute their skills and knowledge to design and construction projects.
Effective designs are both grounded in the specifics of their place, and progressive in their vision of the future. Design that is grounded is responsive to their social, cultural and environmental contexts. Design that is progressive is preformative and projective. For us innovation comes from exploring these two goals together. Innovation is effecting change through, experimentation, research, and technology.