guerilla architecture header 1 Scott Shall: Guerilla Architecture + Humanitarian Design

Sponsoring Organization: International Design Clinic (internationaldesignclinic.org)

Architecture was, and is, a patronage-based practice, as is reflected in the patterns of engagement preferred by the architect: linear and hierarchical processes, carefully curated clientele, and methods of valuation that prioritize exclusivity and the production of symbolic capital (Crawford, 1991). Although not without merit, these patterns become problematic when attempting to forge robust, community-based design efforts.

To be effective in this milieu, the professional critically examine their field’s historic prejudice and trade the largely colonial practices of the field for more inclusive patterns of engagement (Freire, 2010). Only then will the architect become able to avoid imposing their approach upon constituencies historically disadvantaged by them and inadvertently generating the “malevolent urbanism” such processes naturally create (Theime and Kovaks, 2015).

The IDC takes a different approach.

Using the tactics and thinking embedded in fields ranging from counter-culture art movements, theories of development communication, viral-propagation networks, and guerrilla organizations, the IDC develops radically collaborative work with communities in need around the world. Built of mostly scavenged means in only a few days with budgets of less than $2000, each of these modest projects is realized dialogically, using the best practices of crowd sourcing and a range of construction technologies, including globalized crowdsourcing, hyper-local peer-to-peer production, bricolage, and design-build. The resulting work empowers the community to possess and evolve the offered work. It also points to new forms of community-based practice, and, perhaps, incites a radical re-imagination of each.

Integrated Path to Architectural Licensing

Department of Architecture


Critical Practice


Master of Architecture Thesis