The devastation of the Australian Bushfires is not lost on anyone. Certainly not the Habitus news desk and evidently not on you either. As a collective, the Australian Bushfires ravishing the entire country has burnt at least 13 million hectares of land at the time of writing. And that number is growing rapidly. While the largest affected areas so far have been down the east coast from Queensland to New South Wales, ACT and Victoria, around through South Australia and up Western Australia, no state or territory is left unaffected as the country bands together in fear, grief, empathy, and the desire to support those affected and the heroic firefighters in any and every way possible.
Day in day out Habitus is sharing stories about the homes people are creating with the help of architects that serve and respond to their unique way of life. Each party putting on average three years of time, energy and dedication to a structure that in it’s most basic form provides residents: shelter, safety, comfort. The connection and sense of pride one often has with their house is immeasurable. The tragedy of losing one’s home cuts deeply.
As we see the confronting devastation unfold before us: blackened bushland, collapsed or skeletal structures, injured and destroyed wildlife, people evacuated or seeking safety on the beach front; blankets of smoke across the country; and unforgettable images of our heroic fire-fighters battling furious blazes flood our news feeds it is easy to feel helpless. But there are so many ways people are finding to help each other.
If you’re an architect, Jiri Lev on the 4 January established Architects Assist as a register for architects and builders to register their interest in providing pro bono design or building advice to victims of the fires when the time comes. There are already more than 300 architects registered and a flood of support from students or international architects who have likewise indicated their interest to offer their services.
If you’re a brand or supplier you can register your brand’s commitment to donating and supplying products/services when the time comes. This register will be made available to the architects during the recovery effort.
People are donating funds to the following groups:
NSW Rural Fire Service
Country Fire Authority Victoria
Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities
The Australian Red Cross
The Salvation Army
People are opening up their homes:
Airbnb and Find A Bed have set up registers through which you can sign up to offer a spare room to those who need one.
Those who are craft-inclined can knit or sew pouches, mittens, blankets, etc. for homeless koalas, joeys and other injured wildlife.
Read more about Architects Assist here