New Designs for the Comprehensive High School

by David Week 8 December 2010

The paper below completely transformed my understanding of education. Like architecture, education is one of those professions that seems anchored by the “weight of history.” The paper describes a Federally-funded US re-design of the high school, which attempts to remove that weight, and shift the high school from the 19th C. to the 21st. Let me […]

Read the full article →

Marilyn Waring is someone you should know

by David Week 5 December 2010

Marilyn Waring At last, thanks to the National Film Board of Canada, this classic doco on my favourite feminist economist is now available for viewing online. In 1975, at the age of 23, she became the youngest MP in the New Zealand Parliament. As a member of the National Party, she famously (or infamously) crossed the […]

Read the full article →

“Smart Aid”: A cautionary note

by David Week 24 November 2010

Thanks to Good Intentions for inspiring this post, which started life as a comment. I have some qualms about the very idea of “smart aid”. It seems to imply that this is something new, while all has been done in the past is “dumb aid”. I think of the development of aid (the development of “development”?) […]

Read the full article →

What Tolstoy said to the development worker

by David Week 6 October 2010

Games people play I find two there are two types of commentary on development which I find really push some kind of button with me. Ain’t It Awful The first is “the world is a mess, and it’s only getting worse, and nothing we’re doing is really going to fix it.” In 1964, the psychologist […]

Read the full article →

Questioning our poverty prejudices

by David Week 28 September 2010

Examining our own preconceptions MJ, in a comment here, says: It may be that they actually are happier than city slickers in Sydney, but your experiences do not amount to very much evidence. It’s true that my experience does not amount to evidence, but my experience did lead me to start looking very carefully at […]

Read the full article →

Poverty is not misery

by David Week 21 September 2010

Many events and situations can make people miserable: natural disasters, in which they lose their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones internment in refugee camps with uncertain futures and time frames conflicts in which they are daily put in fear of their lives. But poverty, in and on of itself, does not cause misery. I met a […]

Read the full article →

TED’s background briefing on the MDGs

by David Week 21 September 2010

The Millenium Development Goals Various criticism have been made of the MDGs, but I think they have done an excellent job of uniting the development community on a global basis. has done a superlative job of putting new ideas out to a broad audience, in part by restricting their talks to 20 minutes, […]

Read the full article →

What development teaches you about architecture

by David Week 20 September 2010

I recently registered for a new initiative of The Guardian newspaper concerning global development. (Thanks to Craig Zeliger of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network for alerting me to this.) In introducing myself on this site, I felt like saying something about how development has changed the way I understand my profession. I think this is […]

Read the full article →

A life without borders

by David Week 14 August 2010

Snapshot of my life I was born in Chile. At the age of three, I moved two New York for six years (with my parents, of course!). Then six months in Jakarta, just before the 1965 coup which saw between half a million and million people killed. Three and half years in New Zealand. Then back […]

Read the full article →

The trouble with “empowerment”

by David Week 5 August 2010

When I did my PhD, it took me 10 years. Part of the reason for that was just me, and part was the fact that I was working full time in development while doing it. But part of it too was the fact that I radically changed topics mid-stream. I became interested in hermeneutics, which […]

Read the full article →

About “Architecture for Development”

by David Week 27 April 2010

Why this blog Below, I’ve pasted my professional “about” blurb from my CV, written in some version of bureaucratese. It serves as a potted history of my professional life, and provides some insight, I guess, into my professional persona. But I’m not blogging to further my professional career, which is doing just fine. Here are […]

Read the full article →