Small Scale, Big Change. Dorothy Brown

Small Scale, Big Change is an exhibit Andres Lepik proposed in 2008, when the US housing crisis had reached its peak. The exhibit displayed eleven architectural projects on five continents that respond to localized needs in underserved communities. Lepik’s main message in the project was that “good design is not a privilege for the few who can afford it; it can and should reach to all levels of society.” The exhibition was available to see at MoMA in New York from October 3, 2010 to January 3, 2011, but is now accessed online through more architects than the original 11 shown in the exhibit.

The 11 architects shown in the exhibit created projects ranging from a handmade school in Bangladesh to a reconsideration of a modernist housing project in Paris, from an apartheid museum in South Africa to a cable car that connects a single hillside barrio in Caracas to the city at large. But now, the exhibit has expanded to three different internet-based networks, including The 1%, Open Architecture Network, and Urbaninform, where community leaders, architects, and nongovernmental organizations share information and experience. I thought this exhibit was a great idea, underlining how design can be used as a tool to help communities that are underprivileged. I think that where you live greatly effects how one grows up. And, if a building can make a community more beautiful and sustainable, that is also a great social change.


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