pro bono publico – for the public good or well being, and more commonly understood in the world of professional services as ‘free’.
DEFINING PRO BONO. We all understand disparities in wealth and access to professional services. To some, these disparities compel a moral imperative to provide professional services to under-served communities. Many architects regularly perform pro bono services for a variety of ends. While certain firms focus on needs of the international community, such as Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and his disaster relief housing for Japan, Turkey, and India, others focus on issues specific to the United States. Auburn University’s Rural Studio has been designing and building housing and civic buildings in rural Alabama since 1993, while Yale University has an even longer tradition of volunteering their design/build services to their local community. While globalization has increased the reach and scope of the architect, it has also brought to the forefront the major issues that plague our societies. A great need exists globally and locally, and architects are more capable than ever to affect change. Continue reading