OUR vision

Our vision is to create thriving and strong communities around the world through sustainable, purposeful, and
culturally conscious built infrastructure.

our mission

Our mission is to work with impoverished communities and local professionals to design and build sustainable infrastructure that meets the specific needs of communities both in and outside of the United States.  We work to create interdisciplinary platforms that significantly improve local economies, social health, and the mental, physical, and moral well-being within communities and leave them with technologies that can be replicated elsewhere.  We are guided by close collaboration, civic participation, community involvement, and a synthesis among disciplines--one that blurs the traditional lines between architecture, engineering, and landscape, in order to create vibrant, innovative places that improve specific economic, social, and environmental conditions.

how it started

The founders initially came together to work on a project called The Women’s Opportunity Center, located in Kayonza, Rwanda.  Sponsored by Women for Women International, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, they quickly realized that this project was not simply a building, and that the effects of the project were profound. The project knit a productive landscape, with a water-harvesting plan, and engineering that integrated the use of local materials and building techniques.  The important skill of brick-making was taught by local residents to local residents on site, who were then able to participate in the construction of the Center, imbuing the project with a sense of purpose and equipping residents with a critical skill for future projects in the region. After the project was built, the design team founded Big Future Group.

The multi-disciplinary experience that started with in Kayonza is integral to their approach: Sharon Davis' work in socially responsible, environmentally sustainable architecture contributes contextual consideration and a designer's work process; Eric Rothstein’s efforts in the natural environment and water resources give him a deep understanding of ecosystems, and their tangential relationship to built elements; Arun Rimal's history of investment in community-building and education is augmented by his skills as an engineer and his compassion for his native homeland, Nepal, where the first Big Future project will take place; and Julie Farris’ experience with building regenerating, and sustainable landscapes is critical to the success of projects whose economies are agriculturally based.

What it’s about: Connecting Design with Critical Need

Designers focused on International humanitarian architecture have never been more needed: global issues on our communal horizon such as a deepening income inequality, water stress, pollution, global warming and an ever-increasing occurrence of severe of weather events have together brought a desperate need for innovation.  The Big Future Group is committed to examining how these issues are impacting the communities they serve in order to create projects
that are relevant and purposeful.

Methodology

The Big Future Group methodology places emphasis on crafting and editing a project to meet the needs of the both the Client and Sponsor.  Teams work together in order to research, design, and build sustainable built and natural environments, drawing from unique cultural and social distinctions that can create unexpected opportunities for innovation.  Thinking in terms of being both scaleable and replicable, and community involvement and stewardship, a project becomes a unique work tailored to a specific site, its people and their needs, ultimately making everyday lives richer, healthier and fuller. 

 

Board of Directors:

Sharon Davis, Executive Director

Louise Braverman

Julie Farris, VP/Secretary

Katie Gottschalk

Michael K. Liburd

Alex Matthiessen

Arun Rimal, Treasurer

Eric Rothstein, Chairman of the Board

Adi Shamir-Baron

Shino Tanikawa

 

Our board of advisors is culled from a set of leaders in the architectural, international development, and humanitarian communities with various skill sets, interests, and professional associations, as we believe that a diverse leadership is essential to our approach.
Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

 

All photography provided by Elizabeth Felicella.