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Sergio Palleroni delivers Mercy Corps lecture on design
Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 7:30pm to Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 9:30pm

Design-Other-90.jpgMercy Corps Action Center Hosts Sergio Palleroni: "Designing Social Solutions"

The Mercy Corps Action Center hosts Sergio Palleroni, fellow of the Center for Sustainable Practices and Processes and professor of architecture at Portland State University. Mr. Palleroni will discuss his many projects around the world that address the challenges faced by the poor. Among his designs:

  • A solar-powered kitchen for a school in a Mexican squatter community,
  • A strawbale adult-education center for Native Americans in South Dakota,
  • A traditional Tibetan Buddhist school situated on difficult terrain in the Indian Himalayas.

The evening discussion is free and open to the public; seating is limited.

WHEN: Thursday, December 3rd, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Mercy Corps global headquarters, Community Room, 45 SW Ankeny St., Portland, OR 97204
(Enter through the Mercy Corps Action Center at 28 SW 1st Ave)

Sergio Palleroni, professor and architect, is on the Board of Design for the Other 90%, the design exhibit currently on display in the Mercy Corps Action Center through the end of February 2010. Pelleroni is internationally known for his social and environmental designs, providing sustainable design solutions to communities in need. He is also co-founder and director of BaSic Initiative, a social outreach and service learning program using college students to build projects all over the world. Palleroni and collaborators place projects in communities with a distinct culture that have the most to gain; these tend to be the poorest and most isolated populations. "My work had been very hands-on with communities by trying to figure out ways to preserve native cultures," he says. "My ambition was sustainability, but in a cultural sense: sustaining cultures that were in danger of disappearing culturally or politically. In the late 1980s as we began to realize that this was both an environmental and economic issue, because the poor tend to live in the most environmentally degraded places. We combined both missions."

Palleroni has received numerous awards for his teaching and design work for underserved communities, including the National Education Awards from the ACSA/AIA (1997), NCARB (2003 and 2006), and the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution and the White House in 2005. His books include: Time & Other Constructs: The Work of Carlos Miijares, co-authored with Rodolfo Santamaria (Escala Press, 1989); Studio at Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities, with Christine Merkelbach (University of Washington Press, 2004); and Teaching Sustainability in Asia (NTUT Press, 2006).  Palleroni also helped launch the Oregon BEST Green Building Research Lab with fellow PSU engineering and urban studies professors.

The Action Center is Mercy Corps public outreach and youth education center. Located in Mercy Corps headquarters, the interactive exhibition space is a community resource open to the public from 11 am 5 pm, Tuesday Saturday. For more information see

Mercy Corps helps people in the worlds toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress. Driven by local needs and market conditions, our programs provide communities with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team of 3,700 professionals is improving the lives of 16.7 million people in more than 40 countries. For more information, see

Mercy Corps Contact: Caitlin Carlson, 503-548-8497, | Megan McMorran, 503-896-5703,