Socializing Architecture and Designing Reflective Practitioners
A Conversation with Sergio Palleroni of BaSiC Initiative
By Mala Parikh and Paola Ladino
Issue 8 Summer 2011
BaSiC Initiative has been responsible for designing and building of over 95 socially and environmentally responsible projects around the world including schools, libraries, clinics, houses, laundry facilities, gardens, as well as sustainable infrastructure projects – waste treatment facilities, wells, and solar fields.
Over the last twenty years, BaSiC Initiative has focused its design and educational practice on 90% of the world population, which is plagued by poverty and social iniquity. BaSiC Initiative aims to socialize architecture by helping communities with the process of building civic and economic strength. The process takes students out of their comfort level and embeds them in a reflective and transformative educational experience. Throughout the process, BaSiC Initiative teaches both the students and the community, new and better ways to live.
We were fortunate to speak with Sergio Palleroni, Architect Co-Founder and Director of BaSiC Initiative and Professor and Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices at Portland State University, to gain a better understanding of BaSiC Initiative’s work and process.
CATALYST: How would you define the good life and how do you think that design is a catalyst for creating the good life?
Sergio Palleroni (SP): I have an interesting approach. My clientele is very poor, and so my role is a actually a promoter of rights for people who normally wouldn’t be heard. The good life of the poor has usually not been considered by the forces that be. One side of the definition of the good life for me, is just very basic. It involves things like food safety, knowing that you are going to get food, and that your children will have a right to an education, to a safe and enjoyable home, and to live in a place that dignifies the human existence. I come from the point of view that, the things that many of us assume are not always the rights of the very poor, my clientele.
For them the good life is achieving the simple things that we take for granted, but are actually the human rights of all individuals. It’s almost like I’m waging a human rights campaign for the rights of people who normally wouldn’t have access to these things.
Then my approach is figuring out how the good life can continue to perpetuate itself, how I can help come up with models of development or skills. Through these projects that we do, where people in the end have the ability to do it again, have they learned the skills to produce a home for their children, or have they learned the skills to access the resources needed and build the next school after we build this school? Part of it is how to perpetuate the wellbeing of these communities. We don’t want to do a one-time gift; we want to do a gift that stays with them. We want to work to perpetuate wellbeing.
CATALYST:How is it that you encourage the communities to be self-sufficient? What are the strategies that you use to encourage that self-sufficiency?
SP: In addition to working with designers, I am also working with business students and medical students. I’m working with a pretty motley crew of disciplines because I think conversations that we have with other disciplines are essential to achieving permanent and long-term solutions. I use these kinds of projects as a way to create collaboration among different disciplinary thoughts, which might not exist right now, but I think are necessary for the long term. Even though we are talking about a housing project, people are thinking about it as a health issue, or an economic issue, and a political issue. Having students and sometimes professors from different disciplines work on this is creating a more complex solution, but is it also helping people understand how complex it is – for both my clients and my students. In a sense, what I am running is a moving classroom throughout the world where we are learning from communities and they are learning from us. What we are learning is as significant as the expertise we are giving out.
“What do we create for those students to be able to pursue what you have awoken in them?”
Specifically, what do we do? Well, we always engage in a participatory process so that all voices are heard; so that you get a democracy in action, so that people learn to begin to understand their voice is important. You don’t just call an outside expert. Maybe they have never dealt with an outside expert like a doctor or an architect. The relationship that we develop for them to deal with an architect or doctor is one in which their opinion is valued. It is very important to start with a level playing field. To engage in a communication like that, you really have to get off your high horse and participate. You have to be able to open yourself up to critique and learning as well; it’s a process of social leveling. It is important in the design projects that we, as experts, don’t hold all the solutions, but that many solutions come from the place itself. I think that one of my central mantras about sustainability is that we need to appreciate native knowledge and also appreciate the knowledge of people who live in a place and understand that it is a huge part. So we are involving ourselves in a very deep and complex discussion with people about what makes their place work, etc.
The second thing we do is that we are big programmers; we are programming before we start. When we start, we involve the community in a kind of deep discussion which leads to a programming document that is not only a character sketch of what the community wants in the solution, but also of the broader goals, desires, and things the community wants to do and be involved in. And the third thing is that every participatory process does not just end with the design of the project. We transcend the actual building, which brings issues of economics, organizing the community, and how we organize ourselves to effectively produce the work. Then the business school students who participate in my programs figure out models by which programs can continue to be perpetuated. We try to learn about the elements we need for a long-term and economically sustainable model. So as we are building, we are creating kind of a participatory action research project, because we are learning as we are doing. It is a different type of research from scientific methodology; it does not presuppose the kind of information that we are looking for. The process informs the solutions that we come up with. So it’s participatory research and we see it as a complement to the academic learning that the students are getting in the classroom. It is a different mode of knowledge production and it’s a very important one. And, I think that in the long term this will help the student bridge into future practice because in the real world, it’s all about relationships.
“My approach is being able to figure out how the good life can continue to perpetuate itself.”
In the whole building process, we see the building site as an open classroom. We have a rule that anything can be said in the construction site, in the critique, and that you should be open to the design and critique as it goes along, A lot of people only realize things when they see the building up and then they go “oops what happened there? That is not what I thought.” Also in the process of making it real you yourself become aware of things, about the site, about the way light must fall upon it, about how people walk to it, and how people feel about it. You should be able to think that the design process doesn’t end until the building is finished. It transcends the paper and continues to the site, continues to the building, and continues to the moment that you put on the doorknob and close the building up. We actually find that it doesn’t end there, that it actually keeps going for as long as that building is alive because the building keeps transforming and changing.
We actually try to go back to some of the previous work and see not only how people are feeling about it post occupied, but also how the building itself is transforming, how the site is transforming, and the neighborhood. Every building creates a kind of ripple effect on its communities. That is very important to us. Finally, we think of design as a social process mainly in which a community gains an identity through the making of this building.
It is a huge investment for any of my clients in the first place. The community becomes aware of who it is and where it wants to head, and becomes aware of its capacity, which is really important as it moves forwards. Also it begins to identify social, personal and economic capital sources. A lot of communities we work with are communities in the making, lacking fiscal areas and resources and making up for these things through social and personal capital and social relationships. The making of a building becomes a great opportunity to create, cement, and solidify networks.
CATALYST: We also have spoken to Rural Studio as part of the research for this article. They spoke about the success of their model being rooted in one place and having responsibility to that place. We know your work spans many countries and many organizations so how do you adjust this process for different communities?
SP: First, I have been in exile from my own country so maybe I am in search of a country, like an eternal tourist. It is interesting and I really admire living in one place like the Rural Studio has done. I think we are more involved in an ongoing discussion. We focus more on the social process. The Rural Studio produces some beautiful buildings; they are more building-focused than we are. We are more involved in social and economic development than they are. And I think we, like them, though we don’t have the luxury that they have of living in one place, are dedicated to that place. We make a commitment to spend three to ten years on every project. So we keep coming back to the projects. Even though we have done almost a hundred projects now, some are multiple building projects. We are always committed to going back. I absolutely agree with Rural Studio; it is about a sense of permanence that builds close relationships, which is hard to do in one year. Maybe it is possible. I don’t know how it is possible. I don’t know how people do it, but I cannot do it. I am not that smart.
I also think that my goal in doing this started out by wanting to take Americans out of their comfort zone and take them out into the rest of the world, so they will see themselves from the outside in, to begin to culturize Americans to a world view. So in a way, it is my reaction to what I saw in America when I first came – a very naive view of the world with its possibilities, and a limited view of the impact that they were having not only economic and military but also through the models that they were perpetuating about the ways that people should live, which were very popular and we were all doing. America makes a very sexy image on the television. So my thing was just to take students out of their comfort zone and into the squatter communities to appreciate how extraordinary these people were, so when they came back they would never see a Mexican in the same way. Maybe it’s a little bit of cultural politics.
“We always engage in a participatory process so that all voices are heard, so you get a democracy in action, so that people learn to begin to understand their voice is important.”
CATALYST: How do you see the transformation of the students and the communities through this process?
SP: We are all impacted by the work, I mean I am. I always say the most important thing that a student should take out of my program, and even a community, is to become a reflective practitioner. You know if you design in paper you create a kind of fiction in the paper that it is a safe and complete world in there. But, often the world is a really complex thing and there are many competing forces and views. So I think being able to take them out into the real world is really important. I am trying to get students to reflect on their actions. There is nothing like being out on the site where you see how your decisions are impacting people’s lives for students to actually connect the dots.
What I do in the program is to give them a structure by which they can take those reflections and articulate them either through redesign or by having them document their reflections through film, writing, or theatre. So there are many ways that I give them opportunities to reflect back on what they have done, and I try to give enough of those reflective moments so it will stay with them afterwards, I hope. We take that moment of exteriorization where we pick someone out of the country and their normal self, displace them and they become conscious of this. We give them an avenue of reflection through film, writing, work, design, whatever it is, which we hope they will continue to practice when they leave.
For the community itself there is an opportunity to connect beyond their normal means. We see it as an extraordinary opportunity for the community to also reflect on what their real possibilities are and how they can act on their possibilities. As professionals we never deal with the poor. So, we get this gift of insight of looking at things in a different way. We try to leave a trail, we try to make the most of it. We try to keep a continued and sustained relationship so they continue to understand and know how to do it. Third, we try to engage local professional communities in these projects either through local schools, universities or architecture or design schools, and get them involved in these issues, too. This is a movement where the first world has led the developing world but now is being led by examples. This is becoming increasingly an important factor in local universities and the places that we work. Not only are the local students becoming more interested and involved in this, but also the local community knows that they are not only coming from some foreign exotic place but from a local university. The community can go out and cross a boundary which sometimes seems more daunting because of racial and social politics, but they (community) can go out there and appeal to these people (local students) for help. So we changed their relationship from one of marginalization to one of inclusion.
CATALYST: You have been involved in this process for many years, what are the most difficult limitations that you had to overcome?
SP: Okay, you are waiting for a long list here. Well, actually, bigger than anything is probably national politics and local politics. Often even if we can organize a community to build a school, sometimes the local Ministry of Education will be our worst stumbling block. They will not accept a green school. For example, I had this problem with Mexico for years because we are building all these schools, and they were more sustainable, had better light, and had nicer ventilation. Everyone agreed but the guys from the Ministry of Education kept denying us teachers because they said the school doesn’t look like a school. I said the school you design is the same school that you are designing in the tropics and in the desert. It doesn’t perform so well in every single climate; it performs well in one climate but not in every one. It doesn’t mean a lot to these people (the communities), they just accept it because you are giving it to them. It took me years to get them (Ministry of Educ.) to agree and it was not through any kind of enlightenment on their part. Actually it was due to the fact that the movement behind our schools was so politically powerful they had to accept, they had to begrudgingly accept change. Local politicians and the powers that be are often some of our worse hindrances.
Second is economics. You can get organized to a great extent to overcome a lot of things but a little more money would be great. (He laughs). Money is always good. We don’t need a lot, but we need a little bit. For my students, it is one of the things they most want to learn about, how to raise money. That is always a big thing. So how do you make it go?
The third thing that is a big hurdle is that increasingly, probably more than any other program in the country, according to Brian Bell, we produce more spin-off groups. More than 35 or 40 different groups emerged from the BaSiC Initiative. How do you create the conditions for supporting them? How do you create the conditions for a young person who has been transformed by his work with women in squatter communities in Africa who comes back and says, “Well, how do I continue with that interest and commitment back in the United States working for HOK (big architectural firm) or SOM (big architectural firm)?” What do we create for those students to be able to pursue what you have awoken in them? Those are my three big ones.
CATALYST: Can you talk about how you select the communities that you work in? Meaning: how do you go about doing the research since some of the projects are through the UN, and some are local, so how do you go about the process of choosing the community?
SP: Well, let me say that a lot of them are continued relationships. For example, we have been working with some of these women in squatter communities in Mexico since 1986 or 1987, and we are still working with them. So, 25 years later, they keep coming back and demanding more. And they know me too well and they are mothers so they can guilt trip me. (He laughs). I always manage to say yes. So a lot of it is continued relationship. And projects evolve through these relationships.
A lot of them are based on relationships; for example I started working in India with women who met women in Mexico through a UN conference on women and development. They will say, we have this great new architect who will come and help you, and before I know it I get a message from Central India. It happens and it is amazing.
For instance we are working in Tunisia because one of my former graduate students who went out there is writing his thesis. He came to Mexico to work on one of our projects and got transformed by that. He invited his dad from Tunisia to come out to Mexico and his father came out and said “Oh my God this is what Tunisia needs.” That is how we connected. So we have some 50 projects that we are behind right now. I am going to be doing this until the day they carry me off the site in a box.
We have a lot of work backed up and we have several filters for choosing it. One way the work comes is that it comes from the UN projects and there are other organizations who seek our help as we have become better known. Other organizations such as Mercy Corps, and other international organizations collaborate on projects.
And then we use several filters. One filter is that it has to be something that is doable, has the possibility of being solved because we have limited resources.
“Finally we think of design as a social process mainly in which a community gains an identity through the making of this building.”
Secondly, and we think very importantly, is that it will provide a significant educational experience for my students and the communities, because really beyond everything else, we are an education foundation. We are really just focused on education and educating people to make change, building their capacity to make it for themselves. So, it has to be a significant educational experience.
Thirdly, the communities have to be organized to a level where they know what the priorities are, because I am cautious about going in and telling a community what they should have. They don’t have to know exactly what they want but they have to know what they are after and what are their priorities.
And then fourth, within the community there has to be an organized entity that truly represents the community. So we don’t step in if 25 mothers ask us to build a school. The mothers have to organize themselves and bring the community together, become maybe a little organization, the promoters of school, and then talk to the community. Then the community decides it is a priority, and they organize themselves to come up with a campaign. We come down and at that point we will come and help them figure out what a school campaign might be, what other things may be included in the school campaign like libraries, clinics, etc.
Then at this point we send a team of graduate students out into the field and they go and live with the community for several months, and come up with a programming document. They take all these wishes, desires, and resolutions. Then they live with the community and observe it as inhabitants and then they come up with this document that says this is what we need.
CATALYST: Now that you have set up the problem, how do you assemble the team and process to solve it? In other words – what happens next?
SP: We start the whole project and then this programming document gets sent out to universities and BaSiC Initiative groups. We selectively ask certain universities that are going to have skill sets that we need or may have connections that we need. We also put out a general call through the BaSiC Initiative Universities, which is about 50 of them now, and people say, “Oh yeah, I am interested in this.” People make connections that way, and then we form a group and that becomes the working group around this project.
Usually this initial phase gets followed up with a research phase, which is usually about six months or sometimes a year. We pick all the issues that are involved in this community project, and break them down into a series of research projects. How do we get clean water there? How do we get sanitation there? We look at the technologies both in the lab and in the field by talking to people. We try to set it up by breaking it down into a series of solvable problems and then eventually we organize the first of our design build efforts to formalize this into a series of interventions. When we go out to build a school, it has already taken two years to prepare, unless there is an emergency like in Haiti, and then we go immediately.
“I am trying to get students to reflect on their actions. And there is nothing like being out on the site where you see how your decisions are impacting people’s lives for students to actually connect the dots.”
CATLYST: The economic model and the resource funding varies for each project. We know you work towards self-sufficient models that are replicating and sustainable. When we were doing the research for this interview, we looked at your project “Hogar del viento” or “yaqui house”, which includes micro lending. Can you talk more about this?
SP: Oh! Yes, this was a huge micro funding project for us. We were working with Save the Children and several organizations. The first part of this is probably the story of many projects. We have a community which had organized itself – a group of women, who were well off, started to organize themselves to support women who were really badly off. Then they created the foundation to help build sustainable housing for the Yaqui women, because Yaqui women were suffering in enormously high rates. These women didn’t have any other recourse because they are too poor even to qualify for the most minimal income housing in the country. There is no housing and this is terrible. The rate of single parenthood in the Yaqui community is 75% and it is all women.
Here are single women, heads of households, who are the poorest economic family
unit in North America, more than any indigenous group in Mexico. They have very low capacity. Actually solving that was really an economic issue. The solution was getting them to form into groups of 20 to 25 women, who created a social unit to help each other save money and because of that relationship, creates a strong social extended value for each other. They saw each other through for the entire five-year process of acquiring their homes, saving and acquiring materials. Actually the process was about social capital formation as well as economic capital formation because during the five-year process they acquired a home and the home was transformative for them because they owned it. But also they have another group of 24 other families who are now their support network. Probably it is equally powerful.
Now the program continues. It runs as an economic outreach program, measured by self-sufficiency. They finance new housing programs, they organize women, they give them education about how to save money, and how to work in a cash economy, how to run household finances, and at the end they get a home. We are not involved in the design or construction part any more. This is where I think we are distinct from other programs nationally. It is not always true that we end up with the design-build component, though it is often true and, even when it is true, the design component includes the economic or social project which is equally important as the construction project.
“Actually the process was about social capital formation as well as economic capital formation because during the five-year process they acquired a home and the home was transformative for them because they owned it.”
CATALYST: You talked before about politics and economics. Do you look at models or disciplines outside of architecture? Can you talk more about that?
SP: Yes, of course I do. I learned all of this from a famous man Ivan Illych who is philosopher. He was working in Mexico from Europe; he was one of the most important philosophers of 20th century. If I paraphrase him: “Just engage women in this community, just get them involved in the dialogue. Get them to learn that having a dialogue is a significant thing because you create cohesion, create solidarity and create movements.”
We were creating a place called “CED” “Centro de Encuentros y Dialogos” (Center
for Encounters and Dialogues). It is a space for women to meet and organize and exchange and build solidarity. I think that was probably the most significant lesson I had, more than design buildings’ programs. When we started there were only two or three doing design build programs; now there are hundreds. It was a handful when we started, two or three doing it properly. There were not that many and now there are a lot them, but we feel, in a sense, that we are still learning about how to make a social movement. It is what we focus on; we socialize architects to be more involved in the public interest.
CATALYST: You speak about a growing number of practitioners who are more socially and environmentally responsible. Do you think that the profession is changing and considering this issue in a more serious way? When I was in architecture school and I was interested in these things, it was not considered as real architecture.
SP: When I published our first book people said that socially and environmentally responsible architecture was very significant but it is not as beautiful as the Rural Studio. They also said it was not consistently aesthetic like the Rural Studio’s work. I said yes, every community is different; we are just an expression of social outcomes. So, I live by that and I think there is a growing awareness among bright young people.
The programs and the architecture are not well. Architecture needs to transform itself and reengage with reality, which is that 95% of the people just get what they can get because architects are not there to provide it for them. We are talking to a lot of people, but we are not engaging the bigger issues, we are only engaging in a limited range of issues. We are basically dealing with aesthetic concerns and some ecological concerns.
I teach sustainability but I would like to see it move beyond the three to five percent of the upper class who can buy sustainable stuff. I want to see solutions that are available for five dollars; solutions that everyone can buy. Otherwise, there is no impact on the people who would most benefit from the impact. If the poor can access it, then it is a huge impact. They don’t have any other choices for getting doctors or improving the lives of their kids, all the things that sustainability can do, better school performance, happiness, better health. They don’t have any other options for that. Sustainability could be an extraordinarily powerful social tool.
CATALYST: How do you define sustainability? This is a widely used term these days and the meaning from every profession and perspective is different.
SP: This is a good question. They are all good questions. Sustainability is a good issue because the world is going to crash. It is in bad shape and it is in bad shape because no one has known how to manage the kind of gift we were given.
The ability to make sense to all of this is an issue that connects us all, poor and rich, everybody is really affected by this, it is important. It is kind of fantastic from my perspective; we all need to solve it, because if the rich just solve it, it is not going to help because it is the same world. We are all connected. We cannot divorce ourselves from each other. We all find ourselves in the same boat. So, if the boat springs a leak on the lower deck, which is where the poor are, the boat is going to sink just as if the boat springs a leak on the upper deck, which is where the rich are.
“I see sustainability as an opportunity for social revolution, which begins breaking down some barriers, because in the end the only way we actually are going to solve this is by all of us pitching in together and making sense of it.”
This unifies us in a way – the idea of reconnecting to the world. Yes, it can continue to be a kind of “me” culture, a culture of narcissism. But it can actually be an opportunity for connecting with our environment, connecting to a place, respecting local culture and the knowledge of the farmer who is out there in the fields and knows his fields from centuries ago. Sustainability can begin to create this respect and engagement with things that are more distributed and more equitable.
I see sustainability as an opportunity for social revolution which begins breaking down some barriers, because in the end the only way we actually are going to solve this is by all of us pitching in together and making sense of it. At the same time it is not an easy thing to do. And people need to make the connection between sustainability and its social and political manifestations.
A long time ago the fields of law began to make a powerful connection between environmental law and human rights law. It is extraordinary because one of the most powerful ways to lobby for human rights for native people in the world is actually to lobby for the rights of the resources which they have. So, the connection between environmental rights and human rights is profound, deep and embedding in legislation and laws. That is what I am doing, growing those connections for architecture.
CATALYST: What advice do you give to young idealist designers, architects, people who want to change the world?
SP: Friends, do it! (He laughs). Definitely the world needs you. One side expects it to be a long process, and don’t give up.
Second, networking is probably one of the best ways to help you survive. Finding other people who are going through the same struggle is just like the women in squatter communities; their network is what helps them survive. Also this opens up possibilities where you never expected they would be.
Third, is probably to be able to get trained and try to look at all aspects of your profession, not only become good at one thing, instead try to get a broad perspective to move forward from.
Fourth, get engaged in your own communities, even in simple things. You will be surprised in how many ways design, as an intellectual and social practice, can have an impact. So make yourself available to those in need in your own community.
Keep an open mind because you are going to be proven wrong a lot of times. Therefore, always put yourself in the shoes of the other person. This is probably the most important thing anyone ever taught me.
And lastly, unfortunately, don’t do what they teach us in architecture school: don’t be obscure. Try to make whatever you offer as understandable and easy to access as reading a comic book. (He laughs).
Insight Sometimes a project requires designing a new process and not a new product.
STRATEGIES IN ACTION:
Seek out collaborations with different disciplines for better long-term solutions
Engage in a participatory process and an ongoing dialogue with your own community
Evolve and nurture relationships to create networks that support each othe
Empowerpeople to understand that their voice needs to be heard
Awake a sense of a social commitment in students
Design as a social process
Open yourself to criticism and learning
Venture outside your comfort zone
Learn by doing
Become a reflective practitioner
About the Contributor:
Sergio Palleroni, Co-founder and Director of BaSiC Initiative & (B.Arch. University of Oregon, MSArchS MIT) Professor at the University of Washington, and Luce Foundation Professor in Sustainable Development at the University of Texas, Austin, before joining Portland State University as a Professor and Senior Fellow of the new Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Professor Palleroni’s research and fieldwork for the last two decades has been in the methods of integrating sustainable practices to improve the lives of communities worldwide typically underserved. In 1988 to serve the needs of these communities he founded an academic outreach program that would later become the BaSiC Initiative (www.basicinitiative.org), a service learning fieldwork program which each year challenges students from the US and abroad to apply their education in service of underserved communities throughout the globe. Today the BaSiC Initiative continues to have programs worldwide that serve the poor in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In addition Professor Palleroni has worked and been a consultant on sustainable architecture and development in the developing world since the 1970’s both for not-for-profit agencies and governmental and international agencies such as UNESCO, the World Bank, and the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Taiwan.
The work of the BaSiC Initiative has been most recently documented in Studio At Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities (University of Washington Press, 2004), Building One House (Princeton Architecture Press, 2005), Architecture Like You Give a Damn (Metropolis Books and Princeton Architecture Press, 2006, 2007, 2008), Expanding Architecture (Metropolis Books and Princeton Architecture Press, 2009), The Alley Flat Initiative: Infill Housing as a Strategy
in Sustainability (University of Texas Center for Sustainable Practices, 2010), as well as several documentaries including the PBS series Design e2 (2006), all which explore the BaSiC Initiative’s efforts to improve, and make sustainable, the lives of the planet’s poorest citizens.
Albers, K., & Fettig, T. (Executive Producers). (2006). Green For All, Season 1, Episode 2.
[TV broadcast]. Retrieved from http://learning.snagfilms.com/film/design-e2-green-for-all
Bell, B., & Wakeford, K. (Eds). (2008).
Expanding architecture: design as activism. Los Angeles, CA: Metropolis Books.
Palleroni, S. (2006). The valle del yaqui project: building the capacity of yaqui women to help themselves.( Master Thesis, Massachussets Institute of Technology(. (Re)constructing
Communities Booklet. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu/jhou/rim/2004/abstracts%202004/Pacrim_booklet.do
Pedersen, M. (2008). More from the notebook of Sergio Palleroni. Metropolis. Retrieved from http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20081016/more-from-the-notebook-of-sergio-palleroni
Pelleroni, Sergio. (2004). Studio at large: architecture in service of global communities. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.
Sinclar, C. (2006). Design like you give a damn: architectural responses to humanitarian crises. Los Angeles, CA: Metropolis Books