By Guest Blogger Brian Tenorio (Design Management Program, Pratt Institute, New York)
The Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Consulate General of Philippines-New York launched Designer Villages: the International Architecture Challenge on June 16, 2009, at the IEE office at the United Nations Plaza in New York City. The winner of the competition will be awarded USD 10,000 and a guaranteed build according to their winning plans and design.
Invited to speak during the launch were Illac Diaz, Alumnus of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, and Tony Meloto, Executive Director of Gawad Kalinga and also a 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership, who was named as one of the 2008 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. For the challenge, Meloto defines his idea of “the best for the least” as a collaborative effort with experts and participants from the Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, designers from all over the world, and Filipinos in creating “solutions to the problem of obsolete, low-cost residential building designs in the developing world in the midst of climate change” (Philippine Climate Challenge).
At the event, Diaz emphasized that “Your money is of second importance to your ideas that could change lives.” He hopes to “get the best designs for the people who need it the most.”
The Philippines is on the typhoon belt of the Pacific Ocean. It contributes less than half a percent of the total green house gas emissions in the world, but is one of the countries that is most vulnerable to Climate Change according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
More information about the competition is available at www.philippineclimatechallenge.org.
In the photo (seated from left to right): Tony Meloto, Executive Director, Gawad Kalinga and 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardeek; Cecilia B. Rebong, Consul General of the Philippines; Allan E. Goodman, President, Institute of International Education; (at the podium) Illac Diaz, Alumnus of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program and 2008 WEF Young Global Leader Awardee