An Architectural Activist..
I was introduced to two architects Eko Prawoto and Francis Kere whose works, I consider to be symbols of architectural activism in their native cities, respectively in Jogyakarta, Indonesia and Gando, Burkina Faso. Their designs were not only pragmatic responses to environmental, economic and cultural analyses, but also products of collaborative process between themselves and user community. Inspired from their respective vernacular, both architects exploited the natural and human resources of their user communities to create cultural and social nexuses which were built for the people and by the people. In their respective practice, Prawoto and Kere reveal the nature of architecture as vehicular for social, economic and environmental changes.
The social inclusion and community empowerment through the participatory process of this architectural typology changed the perception of the architect from an egotistical reflection of a capitalist engine to a social activist, caring, defending and responding to the needs of the un-deserved; thus defining his role and attributes in relationship to the latter. However, this design process evolved beyond architecture to include all fields of designs which are called upon to serve and respond to those in needs.
Similarly to Prawoto and Kere, I am drawn to contribute to the development of my native country of Haiti. Four years ago, the island encountered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which destroyed all of its major administrative buildings, killed hundreds of thousands, and left millions living in tents. As a nation in need of all the basic infrastructures, we are given the opportunity to rebuild; and my career goal is to contribute to the latter. Thus the new architecture is the product of Haitian culture, the reflection of its vernacular forms, the response to its climatic and economic landscape and the fruit of a collaborative process.