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Indepth Arts News:

"Outreach: Designs for a Mobile HIV/AIDS Health Clinic for Africa"
2003-03-19 until 2003-05-30
Architecture and Design Museum at the Bradbury
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

Architecture for Humanity and International Medical Corps announce the opening of a highly innovative exhibition of designs for a Mobile HIV/AIDS Health Clinic for Africa at the A+D Museum located in the historic Bradbury Building in Downtown LA. The exhibit of winning designs from Architecture for Humanity's latest design competition will open March 18, 2003 and will be on display until May 30, 2003. The exhibit brings together designs from Architecture for Humanity's latest competition with photos documenting IMC's HIV/AIDS mobile clinic in Kibera, Kenya-illuminating a unique connection between architectural design and humanitarian outreach.

Since AIDS was first diagnosed 20 years ago, 65 million people have been infected with HIV and more than 25 million have died from the virus. The disease continues to spread at an ever-alarming rate. It is estimated that three-quarters of the world's AIDS population lives in Sub-Saharan Africa; most have no access to lifesaving drugs, testing facilities or even basic preventative care. One of the major factors inhibiting medical professionals in Africa from treating the disease is the inability to access vast areas of the continent with adequately equipped facilities. In response, Architecture for Humanity challenged architects, designers and medical professionals from around the world to design a mobile HIV/AIDS health clinic. Designers were given six months to develop schemes for a fully equipped, mobile medical unit and treatment center that could not only be used for testing, prevention and treatment of the disease, but also to disseminate information regarding the virus and provide basic health care services.

By the project deadline, November 1, 2002, more than 530 teams representing 51 nations answered the call. An international jury of architects and medical professionals met in New York to select four finalists and eight honorary mentions. The finalists included a professional firm from Denmark, a team of students from Troy, NY, faculty members at the University of Dortmund, Germany and two young architects from Paris, France. These winning entries will be exhibited alongside forty innovative, inspiring and thought provoking schemes from around the world.

"AIDS is a global epidemic which deserves a global response. Architects, designers and medical professionals have shown that by coming together they can make a real difference in the lives of others," said Cameron Sinclair, Founder and Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity.

The exhibition will also showcase photos by Jenny Chu of IMC's existing mobile HIV/AIDS clinic in Kibera, Kenya, arguably the largest slum in Sub-Saharan Africa. The slum embodies a dangerous combination of risk factors that have made it a breeding ground for HIV-it is no wonder that Kibera's population is 50 percent HIV positive.

A registered nonprofit organization, Architecture for Humanity encourages architects and designers to seek solutions to global social and humanitarian crises. International Medical Corps is a non-sectarian, non-profit, global humanitarian relief organization with emergency medical and health programs in war-torn and impoverished regions worldwide.

Funds raised from donations and additional fundraising activities will be used to build one or more prototypes of the winning concepts and to support IMC's ongoing efforts.

Later this year, with support from Virgin Atlantic, designers from the four selected finalists will gather in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa for a development workshop. This unique opportunity will allow designers to work with experts in the field to further refine their mobile clinic designs and develop construction plans. Once developed, it is hoped that a network of cost-effective and mobile clinics can be built for Africa and replicated in other regions around the world.

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