The Ishaka Project, initiated by the humanitarian organization CARE, gives Burundi women the confidence and resources they need to pull themselves out of poverty by supplying loans for the creation of small businesses. Before Ishaka distributes the loans, the women are educated about family planning and asset-management practices to prepare them to create profitable businesses and plan for their futures. Instead of applying a short-term solution to fighting poverty, this initiative gives people the opportunity to build and support their own economies in a lasting way.
A temporary monument honoring Gramsci, the Italian Marxist philosopher, recently opened to the public on the grounds of the Forest Houses development in the South Bronx. Paris-based artist Thomas Hirschorn visited 46 out of 334 New York City housing projects to find interested residents to collaborate with him on the project. The goal? To use the monument in the context of the housing project as a way to challenge people to think about issues that are otherwise unquestioned in everyday life. The monument—which will be up through September—will act as an “inner-city intellectual Woodstock,” run by local residents employed by the Dia Art Foundation. These residents will facilitate programs such as lectures, art programs, and concerts.
Turkish architects’ collective Herkes Icin Mimarlik (Architecture for All) have created drawings of the temporary makeshift structures built and inhabited by Occupy Gezi protestors in an effort to compile an accurate visual archive of the movement. As the collective’s cofounder explains, “Creating a collective memory is really important when the government is trying to cover everything with different layers of misinformation.” The line drawings are void of detail, acting solely as a means of documenting the different types of architectural structures. The archive documents the ways that everyday people have used design as intervention tactics to resist authority. Visit #occupygezi architecture’s Tumblr to see the project.
Artist Jennifer Wen Ma partnered with lighting designer Zheng Jianwei to transform the glass façade of the Water Cube, built for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 into a responsive light installation. The piece, titled “Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube,” compiles the emoticons circulating through China’s version of Twitter (Sina Weibo), into a singular gesture of public expression. The program’s complex software breaks down the emoticon expressions into seventy categories, which then define the variation of color and movement of light. Communicating people’s emotions in the public realm, the installation aspires to provide a platform for free expression within a highly censored society.
The San Francisco planning department’s sustainability development program is coordinating with the State of California to minimize water consumption and waste while maximizing energy resources in local communities. The department has created a system called Eco Districts, consisting of local residential and commercial property owners and residents, in an effort to provide the opportunity for people to create self-initiated projects that encourage environmental and cultural development within their neighborhoods.
The Palestinian Museum, designed by Dublin-based firm Heneghan Peng Architects, employs architecture to integrate the museum into the site’s cultural and environmental landscape. The stepped structure combines tradition and modernism by reflecting the agricultural terraces embedded across the hilly terrain of Birzeit, Palestine. The design is a nod to the city’s historic roots in commerce and agriculture, and projects an optimistic view of its future.Have a suggestion for Friday links? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your link, first name, and where you’re from. We’re excited to hear from you!