The Open Architecture Collaborative (OAC) is a global learning network mobilizing architects and designers with technical skills to build capacity within communities experiencing systemic marginalization.The organization’s programs bring people from different backgrounds together to cocreate a new narrative of power in our contemporary environment through accomplishing small projects. Programs include the volunteer Chapter Network and Pathways to Equity, a design leadership experience for social equity launched in 2018. All programs support local practitioners working their local communities.
The OAC was born from the network of Architecture for Humanity in 2016 and maintains twenty volunteer chapters located around the globe, with thirteen located in the US. Informed by over fifteen years of volunteer coordination, community project management, and advocacy, the organization identified a need to develop more rigorous training and focus on building resources to help practitioners develop a lens for equitable practice. In order to deepen the impact of community design for everyone from community partners and local residents to designers, all OAC members must develop a better understanding of the systems of oppression that lead to the projects we often undertake.
Pathways for Equity is designed to build an equity lens in design. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Curry Stone Foundation, and the Association for Community Design. Pathways to Equity brings together an interdisciplinary cohort of fellows to develop skills such as self-reflective practices and resetting frameworks around privilege, power dynamics, and systemic racism.
The OAC is committed to providing leadership opportunities and programming for those who want to be the change-makers and problem-solvers in the fight for a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable society.