Working free of charge is a shame if you spend your entire life doing unpaid internships. On the other hand, it is highly noble if you build for those who cannot afford to hire you. Architecture is undisputedly one of the strongest tools that can change the situation in developing countries for the better. To this end, architects need to willingly volunteer to build for the greater good.
All in all, Architects Should Most Certainly Build in Developing Countries to:
Experience Something New
Your contribution will not only help the developing nations but also expand your horizons. That is because you will get to see cultures, customs, materials, and building techniques you never knew about. You might as well take awesome innovative design solutions back to your office.
No, you do not have to build entire villages (unless you want to). Just a simple structure can turn a dead neighborhood into a thriving community. TYIN Architects’ Klong Toey Community Lantern, for example, turned a slum into a friendly neighborhood.
Besides, if you opt for participatory design approach, your structure can stimulate social interaction the day you start building it.
I am serious. Your project will serve a purpose, wouldn’t it? Certainly, a proper educational setting would promote education, wouldn’t it? So, build educational buildings or small classroom huts, depending on where you are.
If you’re up for participatory design, you can set up training huts and teach people how to build for themselves. This would be another fruitful experience for you.
Encourage Good Health
Likewise, building a medical center in unprivileged areas will give people an organized place for health care. Make sure you don’t replicate a Western hospital in Ethiopia, though. A decent space, suitable to the context, is what can provide a refreshing atmosphere for the patients.
You can reduce poor living conditions in developing countries by creating sustainable shelters and healthy sanitation systems.
Even if you could shelter just one family, do it! You never know when your littlest action can be a head start for something grand.
The more the socially-charged architects, the better it is for humanity. Thus, it is not wrong for you to let other architects know how architecture can solve global problems through your own practical example. Just don’t be a humble bragger ?
Develop the Developing Countries
Who says architecture can only flourish in big economies? Architecture is, in fact, THE step ahead for developing countries! How else would these countries be developed if not through the provision of proper infrastructure?
This is perhaps the most rewarding experience you will gain in this journey. Bringing comfort to the disadvantaged gives you a feeling of self-fulfillment you cannot compare. Believe me, no amount of money can ever bring you the same level of satisfaction.