“I spend my time drafting human and environment centred design solutions, reachable to all.”
Sameera Chukkapalli is one of our inspiring Wild Card participants in the 2020 programme! She is an accomplished architect, born in India and currently based in Barcelona, Spain. Sameera has received awards and fellowships recognising her work, and was invited to speak at the UN-Habitat Assembly 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya!
Founder and Director of Needlab, her non-profit
After completing her Masters and Postgraduate studies in Architecture and Robotics from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Sameera founded her non-profit, Needlab. She describes Needlab as an organisation which aims to “solve problems related to habitat and urban resilience in cities and rural communities.” A core ideology their work revolves around is ‘Think global, Act local’, and this can be seen in their people-focused designs. They have completed 46 projects on 4 continents, impacting over 5,000 people. That’s quite an impressive impact!
House For All
The focus of Sameera’s Challenge impact project is developing Needlab’s House For All initiative, which was a finalist in the Fast Company’s ‘World-Changing Ideas 2020’ awards. The aim of ‘House For All’ is to end global homelessness through creating sustainable housing solutions that are secure, dignified and self sufficient. Through using local and sustainable materials, and creating employment opportunities in the region, House For All intends to both benefit the environment as well as local communities.
Sustainability as embedded in her upbringing
The importance of being a steward for the environment was instilled in Sameera since she was a child. She describes how growing up she watched her father tirelessly work to protect forests in the southern Indian sub-continent. After 40 years, he is still doing this today! So it is without a question for Sameera that sustainability would be an integral part of her architectural designs.
Why did she join the challenge
Sameera joined the Challenge to find a supportive, sustainably-oriented community. She hoped that through the Challenge she could grow her network, and make the ‘House For All’ initiative more visible to the world!