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Lecture by Professor Esther Charlesworth

Charlesworth's lecture will explore her journey into humanitarian architecture over the last two decades and explore how she has merged theory and practice during her career.
Esther Charlesworth

Humanitarian Architecture – Disasters, Development and Design Responsibility

‘Humanitarian Architecture’ is a collective belief that through a consultative process of spatial problem solving, the design profession can contribute in a significant way to the complex challenge of rebuilding a city and its community, following the event of a natural disaster. Esther Charlesworth's lecture will explore her journey into humanitarian architecture over the last two decades and explore how she has merged theory and practice during her career in the establishment of Australia’s first design not for profit agency – Architects Without Frontiers.

Esther Charlesworth is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University and Director of the Humanitarian Architecture Research Lab [HARB]. She will be in Helsinki in November, to discuss humanitarian architecture.

Professor Charlesworth is the founding Director of Architects without Frontiers (AWF). Since 2002, AWF has undertaken over 42 health, education and social infrastructure projects in 12 countries for vulnerable communities, and has been described by ABC radio broadcaster Phillip Adams as ‘destined to develop into one of the greater forces of good on this battered planet ’.

At RMIT, Charlesworth is the Academic Director of Master of Disaster, Design and Development degree [MoDDD]. Since 1990 she has worked in the public and private sectors of architecture and urban design in Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Boston and has published seven books on the theme of social justice and architecture, including: ‘Divided Cities ‘ (2009), ‘Humanitarian Architecture ’ (2014) and ‘Sustainable Housing Reconstruction’ (2015).

The lecture is organised by The Department of Architecture at Aalto University and The Museum of Finnish Architecture as part of the Interplay of Cultures program, and in collaboration with The Hjelt Art Foundation.

Can architecture build a better world?

INTERPLAY OF CULTURES – the Museum of Finnish Architecture’s leading autumn exhibition – celebrates the 25th anniversary of education in global sustainability and humanitarian development at Aalto University, while also raising concern regarding the current state of world affairs: