Open Architecture DC (previously as AFHdc) started in 2005 as one of many chapters around the world. The DC chapter was created in response to the 2004 Tsunami. A meeting open to the local design community was originally organized by Prae Piromya via Meetup.com, a social networking site.
Just following, members from Counterpart International approached the group to describe how they were compelled by the group and the ideas that were exchanged. Counterpart presented a project that is located in Vietnam to design a safe school playground for the kids of a nursery school in the Hung Trach Commune region. Both Prae and a member from the group, Josef Fuentes, organized several meetings in a grassroots fashion, ultimate developing design for the school. The project completed construction in January 2006.
From that point, the energy of the members drove the Chapter to do more. Some infrastructure was developed (ie: website) which significantly expanded the Chapter’s exposure to the public. Over a period of 2-3 years, various activities, events and projects have developed and continue to develop. The Chapter, has grown with the limited resources it had to work with such as time, consistent place of business and funds. The contributions of dedicated members allowed for this to happen.
In 2015, each of the chapters had to break from the parent organization and we now are collaborating together under the name Chapter Network. Each chapter from a project and local organizational standpoint operate autonomously. The DC chapter still continues to continue the work they have been doing for over 10 years.