AzuKo newsletter, Oct 2019


736 million people remain in extreme poverty, today. Design can provide solutions to many of the challenges they face. We’re driven by the belief that people hold the answers - as designers, architects and engineers we simply light the fire.

This newsletter highlights our collaborative approach. Read our vision for a just world.

Predicting homelessness

We’ve been working with several partners across London, UK combining our human-centred design mindset with ‘big’ data to shape solutions to homelessness and other issues affecting our most vulnerable citizens. Visit our project page for more information, including our final report, video and reflections from the team.

“Our engagement with AzuKo has helped us to understand how we can design better initially using a participatory approach and bringing the human into that design process.”

— Pye Nyunt, Head of Insights & Innovation, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Build for safety

So far this year we’ve trained 65 women to build for safety in Bangladesh - sharing construction techniques that can be immediately implemented within existing buildings and things to consider when extending or building new. In the face of a growing number of natural hazards, we’re supporting communities to build back better.

After attending our training in 2018, Ponchomi now lives in a secure bamboo-frame house. Read her story.

“My house is much stronger now. It will last longer. These are small improvements but they make a big difference.”

— Ponchomi, Bangladesh

We’re participating in the Big Give this December to raise money to train double the number of women in 2020. We’d love your support on #GivingTuesday. If you’d like to volunteer in our campaign get in touch.


We’re small but mighty

A milestone

Earlier this year we celebrated our fifth birthday with our AzuKo family, brainstorming how to grow our network and impact. Thank you for joining us.

Trustee: International development

We’re looking for an individual with international development experience to join our board. View the role description for more info and application details.

We’d like to thank our Treasurer, Thomas Smith, for his support over the last 2.5 years and wish him luck in his future ventures. We welcome Max Barber to our board who brings audit experience across the charity and energy sectors.


Featured in Futurekind

We’re so proud to feature in the Thames & Hudson book, Futurekind: Design by and for the people, for our incremental slum upgrading work with JBM slum.

Both manual and manifesto, inspiration and call to arms, this rich and timely survey tells the true stories of world-changing collaborations between designers and communities, providing hope for humankind. Read more.

“AzuKo is pushing the idea of community-led design, to build capacity, to support communities in leading their own projects.”


26.2 miles to effect change

On 3 November, Beth Ashbridge will join the start line for the New York Marathon. She’s raising money for our Heart of the home project and to champion women’s empowerment.

Want to join #teamazuko?


Highlights from our blog

Thankyou: #VolunteersWeek

Our volunteers support us in everything from events and fundraising to photography, design and architecture. Meet a few of these amazing individuals.

Story: Heart of the home

Rumar dreams of a kitchen that is safe and comfortable, a space that doesn’t fill the air with black smoke. Read about the challenges she faces.


Sharing best practice

We’ve been supporting the next generation of social impact designers, including giving the keynote speech at CoachBright graduation, presenting our work at HTA’s #TuesdayTalks and joining the jury for the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship.

Interested in maximising your social impact? Hire us to run a human-centred event.