Our Mission

FAARM cultivates social, economic and environmental growth through its Focus on Architecture, Art, Research and Making. We are designers, architects and humanitarians developing innovative solutions for sustainable building. Together with local clients, construction professionals and artisans, we build upon our collective expertise so that all are empowered to participate in the long-term development of their communities.

About Us

We are designers and architects developing innovative solutions for sustainable building. Together with local clients, construction professionals and artisans, we build upon our collective expertise so that all are empowered to participate in the long-term development of their communities.

How to Help

Support our work with a donation today! Your support is immensely important to us. FAARM is a non-profit design collaborative working for the public good. However modest your donation, it enables us to carry on work in vulnerable communities across the globe.
Get one SolarPuff™ solar lantern for yourself to reduce your own carbon footprint and one SolarPuff™ for someone in need.

Our Mission

FAARM cultivates social, economic and environmental growth through its Focus on Architecture, Art, Research and Making.

01_arial_rendering_hl_0_0Our purpose as a charitable organization is to develop sustainable design solutions for dwelling, education, and the environment in order to improve social, economic and ecological conditions for vulnerable communities around the world. Our primary activity will be to integrate design as a catalyst for creating long term design strategies and design solutions for local stake holders who are left vulnerable due to social and economic injustice, victims of natural disasters, and women and children in areas of extreme poverty. We will identify and serve as liaisons between local leaders, non-profits and community organizations, and both local and international for-profit businesses. To create a productive exchange of resources to facilitate the recovery and growth of communities in areas of need.

Formally known as Studio Unite’ Focus on Architecture Art Research Making, doing business as FAARM, is a 501(c)3 registered tax-exempt organization in the state of New York.

 


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About Us

We are designers and architects developing innovative solutions for sustainable building. Together with local clients, construction professionals and artisans, we build upon our collective expertise so that all are empowered to participate in the long-term development of their communities.

 

Executive Director

Dr/Ambassador Alison Thompson is a full time global humanitarian volunteer. Her work started on the Sept 11th 2001 attacks in New York, where she volunteered as a first responder for nine months.

Alison has run internally displaced persons camps and field hospitals in Sri Lanka, Haiti and around the world and Resilience Command centers in Sandy Superstorm in NY, Nepal, Philippines and many other disasters. In 2005 she founded the first Tsunami Early-Warning Disaster Center in Sri Lanka along with a Children’s Learning Center and Tsunami Museum.

In 2012 Alison was appointed as the first official Ambassador to the Haitian Ministry of Environment where she works in reforestation, sustainable energy and cholera initiatives. In Sri Lanka Alison is fondly known as the “Angel of Galle” and the “Angel of Light” in Nepal and Greece with the Syrian refugees. In 2015 she was honored at Loyola Chicago University with an Honorary ‘Doctorate of Letters’, in the ‘Humanities’, where she also gave the commencement speech.

For the past 11 months, Alison has worked tirelessly on the island of Lesvos, Greece in the epicenter of the Syrian refugee Crisis, where millions have fled the war zones of Syria and Iraq. In Greece Alison works as a volunteer paramedic caring for refugees with hypothermia and war wounds and has developed a network of over 15,000 volunteers, through her organization Third Wave Volunteers, who support and coordinate direct aid for the refugees. Her mission is to bring love and light to the refugees and to be a voice for humanity for the suffering. her latest program is bringing in an innovative origami designed solar puff light to the refugees in the dark camps of greece. Alison has personally delivered over 12,000 lights to 65,000 refugees.
in 2010, alison flew to haiti along with sean penn and ten doctors to help after the earthquake. Together, they managed a 65,000-person idp camp and field hospital alongside general simeon trombitas and the 82nd airborne who honored her with the us commanders ‘Medal of Excellence’ award. In 2010 she was awarded the order of australia, the highest civilian medal given by the australian government and queen elizabeth the 2nd, for her volunteerism and her contributions to mankind.
in haiti alison also co-founded we advance, an organization dedicated to combating gender-based violence and advancing the health and safety of women and children throughout the cite soleil slums..
her award-winning documentary The Third Wave, chronicles her volunteer experience in sri lanka after the 2004 tsunami and was screened at the cannes film festival in a presidential jury screening presented by sean penn and bono. She followed up with a book, The Third Wave a Volunteer Story.
with simplicity and humility, thompson inspires everyone to service and to take action just as she has as an everyday, average individual. She tailors her message on how ‘anyone can volunteer’, from a global scope to our own backyards and that “everyone is needed”


Board Members

rickFredric King is a transmedia storyteller and social entrepreneur.  Fredric was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for STREETS OF LEGEND, he developed BLUE VALENTINE and launched the distribution arm of his company, fountainhead transmedia to spearhead the domestic and international sales of his cult film b.i.k.e.  When not not making movies or video games, Fredric is making concrete in Haiti to aid in the rebuilding efforts. While in production of HAITI REDUX, a documentary about the reconstruction efforts after the earthquake of January 12, 2010. Fredric recognized the significant potential impact of private sector investment in the construction material business in Haiti. In 2011 he conceived, formed and launched the haitian american reconstruction partnership (harp) to harness this potential to affect positive social change.     fredricking.com

Alice Min Soo Chun is a Co-Founder and CEO of Solight Design ™ and the inventor of the SolarPuff ™. Alice is aProfessor of Design and Material Culture at Parsons the New School for Design. She was formerly the Director of the Materials Resource Lab at the New School and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and at the University of Pennsylvania. After many years of research in integrating solar circuit panels with thin film substrates, she developed the first prototype for the solar inflatable light in 2009. When the Haiti earthquake happened, she turned her studio at Columbia University into an innovation studio for the developing solutions to help Haiti, and then the application of the solar inflatable light became the SolarPuff ™. She has built award-winning community outreach projects; her work has been published in the New York Times, Architectural Record, Dwell, and the Journal of Architectural Education. Her book entitled GROUND RULES in Humanitarian Design,  published with Wiley Press in 2015, is about design principles for the long-term sustainability.

1418579559600Stacy Kelly is a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Solight
Design ™. Stacy has the dual role of being responsible for managing the manufacturing and shipment of our products while also developing strategic business relationships. Solight Design ™ is Stacy’s third entrepreneurial venture.  She sold her first to American Health Magazine. In 2007, Stacy founded her second venture, Mobile Previews, a mash-up of mobile video streaming, SMS alerts, sharing and polling in one mobile application. In between start-ups Stacy worked as a publishers for some of the largest media companies in the world such as ABC, Disney, Reed Elsevier, Entrepreneur Media and Advanstar across a variety of markets and digital platforms, including: entertainment, toys and licensing  It was as publisher of Entrepreneur’s Business Start-Up that she realized that her real passion is in starting and helping new businesses find their markets and build out their sales and business development strategies. Stacy received her MBA from San Francisco State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut.

Jayne_Forbes_HeadshotJayne Forbes,  In addition to acting as a board member of FAARM, Jayne A.P. Forbes is also a wife and full time mother of three children under the age of 12. Professionally Jayne drives strategic program diversity recruitment planning at Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud services company on the planet. During her tenure at Amazon, Jayne has driven record breaking global recruiting initiatives and launched Amazon’s first transitioning military program. This program was officially announced on May 5th, 2016 at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, at which time Jeff Bezos committed to funded certification training for 10 thousand transitioning military and stated a commitment to hire a total of 25 thousand military within the next five years.  Jayne is a presiding Board Member of the Asians at Amazon Affinity Group and an active member of the Latinos at Amazon, the Black Employee Network and the GLAMAZON Affinity Groups. She has also been nominated as the diversity ambassador to Amazon Studios on behalf of the US & UK Amazon Black Employee Network.  Jayne has also worked in partnership with Solight™ General Council Lara Lavi, to craft and launch the 10 Million Rays of Light Campaign™, co-produced a documentary short to support the soft launch of the global campaign and is actively partnering with Amazon Local Love to launch a co-branded marketing and distribution initiative which will feature the Emerald Twilight™, white-labeled with Amazon Branding for a solar light giving campaign in Washington State, with a goal of expanding to additional states, all to support the needs of the homeless.  Over the past 20 years Jayne has built a long history of contributing to Business Development, C2B Marketing, Consumer Engagement and Social Enterprise focused promotions, with a goal of positively impacting a positive culture shift in the art, culture and technology. In 2013 Jayne was named a Top 100 Dream Makers Award in Seattle, Washington, for her contribution to social entrepreneurialism, and was also selected to participate in the Advancing Racial Equity (ARE) work, of the Thrive by Five Foundation to develop a racial equity lens for the Washington State Early Learning community. This year Jayne was also selected as, one of the 20 most influential Filipino Americans in the United States, and moderator for the state-wide political debates on KVRU Radio Seattle.  Jayne continues to work closely with regional leaders from the University of Washington, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Facebook, Google, City of Seattle Arts Commission, Seattle Fashion Week, National Society of Black Engineers, Lesbians Who Tech, Blavity and a wide array of film and media professionals. Her commitment to leverage her own personal and professional networks to inspire action and good will extends through many social, cultural and environmental initiatives.

IMG_4573 Jean Reid, MD is family physician who has practiced in the Seattle area for over 20 years.  Prior to her MD degree, she used her engineering degree from MIT to investigate the transdermal delivery of drugs with a contract research company in Silicon Valley, and the expression of muscle proteins in human heart through research at Stanford University.  With her partner, Charles Anstett, the pair have advanced their humanitarian inclinations with a self-funded medical mission to remote villages in Nepal.  They have also built on Jean’s work experience with a variety of cultures around the globe, arranging for the delivery of SolarPuffs in Tibet, Nepal, Kenya, and Native American communities in the US and Canada.  It is their dream to continue to advance the “10 Million Rays of Light” program, and demonstrate that free, reliable light in the home can advance literacy, which is the most efficient mechanism to address world health issues such as infant mortality.

IMG_2202Charles Anstett, ARNP is a family psychiatric nurse practitioner from Seattle who’s work emphasizes healthy family systems and personal growth across the lifespan.  He has worked with at-risk families, the homeless and Native American communities.  With his partner, Jean Reid, the pair have advanced their humanitarian inclinations with a self-funded medical mission to remote villages in Nepal.  They have successfully arranged for the delivery of SolarPuffs to villages in Tibet, Nepal, Kenya, and Native American communities in the US and Canada.

 

MaritzaMaritza Struyvenberg was the first Principal Registrar of the United Nations Office of Administration of Justice, a position she has held from July 2009 until her retirement in June 2014.  Previously, she served as the Executive Secretary of the former United Nations Administrative Tribunal for 10 years.  Ms. Struyvenberg started her career in the United Nations in 1981 in the Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs.  Over the years, she held several other positions, including Deputy to the Director, Representation Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General; Political Affairs Officer, ECOSOC Affairs Branch, Department for General Assembly and Conference Management; and Alternate Secretary Joint Appeals Board/ Joint Disciplinary Committee.  She studied Public International Law at the State University of Leiden, the Netherlands, graduating in 1979. Thereafter, she attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and obtained a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy in May 1981.  She published articles on “Selected Revisions of the Statute of the UN Administrative Tribunal”, “International administrative law: due process in the justice system” and “The new United Nations system of administration of justice”.  Formerly she was a member of the Editorial Board of the Practitioners Journal “The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals”.  She is currently an independent consultant specializing in workplace investigations.

Patricia ChavesPatricia Chaves is currently a Senior Sustainable Development Officer at the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development. Ms. Chaves has over 20 years of in-depth knowledge and experience in international policy development and policy making, having supported and guided meetings of intergovernmental bodies for a number of years. Presently, she is supporting the meetings of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the dedicated UN platform to follow up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Ms. Chaves has worked extensively in sustainable development issues at the national, regional and international levels. She has been exposed to the complexity of negotiations both in the public and private sectors giving her the valuable experience of addressing development issues as a negotiator, policy-maker and practitioner. She has also work on promoting and enhancing the use of partnerships among different stakeholders as one of the most participatory mechanisms to effectively implement sustainable development commitments.  Ms. Chaves has acquired valuable knowledge of the challenges faced by developing countries in the implementation of internationally agreed development goals and commitments as well as been deeply involved in the normative and operational work of the United Nations.  As a member of the UN Secretariat’s team servicing the Rio+20 Conference (Brazil – 2012), Ms. Chaves was instrumental in the conceptualization and organization of the Partnerships Forum at that Conference which is considered the largest conference ever convened by the United Nations.  Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Chaves was a career Foreign Service officer of the government of Costa Rica, serving as one of the key negotiators of that country on issues related to environment, finance, forests, macroeconomics and sustainable development at the Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations, as part of the team chairing the Group of 77 and China and at UN Summits such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.  Ms. Chaves was the Co-Director of the Costa Rica-Canada Initiative on Forests during its first year of establishment in 1999.  She has a Master’s Degree in Government with a focus on Economic Policy from Lehigh University.

 


Give Lights

SEND LIGHT TO NEPAL


Give

Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes in the earthquake that occurred in April. Third Wave Volunteers and The Conscious Connections Foundation are helping to distribute lights to those in need.

SEND LIGHT TO HAITI


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Many Haitians are still recovering from the earthquake that occurred in January 2010.
The Reveil Matinal Orphanage lost its home and needs our help. Join WeAdvance in making a difference in Haiti.

SEND LIGHT TO SYRIA


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A great flood of refugees continues to pour out of Turkey from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. The tide shows little sign of stopping and Third Wave Volunteers are bringing relief to families and orphans fleeing to Lesbos, Greece.
—images by doug kuntz

SEND LIGHT TO SENEGAL


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The people of Santhiou Mam Gor are not lacking in love, rather in resources. Help support the lick-wilmerding high school and drew school in providing lights to west africa.

SEND LIGHT TO ECUADOR


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Help support Third Wave Volunteers‘s relief efforts in Ecuador after a recent earthquake kills over 500 people. Support aid workers on the ground today.
—Image by Luis Acosta

SEND LIGHT TO GHANA


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The Senase Project began to change from a focus solely on education to a realization that in order to truly help those children in Akatim, we need to focus on the community as a whole. We strive to help create healthy minds, healthy bodies and healthy hearts.

SEND LIGHT TO CAMEROON


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Yokadouma and Moloundou are rural villages in the Cameroon rainforest. Most people do not have access to electricity due to the rural environment.

SEND LIGHT TO LIBERIA


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Trinity Children’s Center sends aid directly to Liberia on an ongoing basis. The aid is distributed to various villages and organizations throughout the country. This includes items such as first aid, OTC medications, toiletries, clothes, shoes, books, sporting goods, and of course SolarPuffs.

SEND LIGHTS TO YOUR CHOICE


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Choose where to share the light!
We are a world of multiple cultures, colors, beliefs, ideas, and religions. We are born, needing the same sorts of things: water, food, love and Light.

NGO Partners


Projects

10 Million Rays of Light Campaign™

Location: Seattle, WA
Client: Global Music Community
Project Team: Alice Min Soo Chun, Alison Thompson, Lara Lavi, Tina Liberio Lang
Start Date: May, 15 2016
Project Description:

The 10 Million Rays of Light Campaign is inspired by the mission of designer entrepreneur Alice Chun, Founding President of New York City based Solight Design, singer songwriter and environmentalist Lara Lavi and emergency medic humanitarian Alison Thompson to bring renewable solar light to electricity poor people around the world and help with urgent needs in critical places like Haiti, Nepal and even for the Syrian refugees landing in Greece. The campaign launches May 15, 2016 with an already sold out youth concert featuring Gypsy Temple, at the historic 99 year old Columbia City Theater in Seattle, Washington but quickly goes viral around the world.

Solight Design plans to invite celebrities, press and key influencers to join the 10 Million Rays of Light Campaign and coordinate celebrity endorsements with the campaign’s director of celebrity endorsements and social media – Tina Lang by signing up at www.10MRaysOfLight.org or contacting Tina directly at Tina@dreamingincolorent.com.

It’s a simple message – buy one for yourself and one for someone in need, designate which organization you want the lights to go to (form will be on the website by May 15, 2016 and you will get a tax deduction through either nonprofit organizations FAARM or Third Wave Volunteers depending on which country you request to send your second light to. Make a video, post it on your social media, endorse the campaign and pass it on. Says founder Alice Chun, “This campaign can make a difference in millions of people’s lives and help us reduce our collective carbon foot print at the same time. Together we hold the sun in our hand. We are all already part of 10 Million Rays of Light.”


Ground Rules in Humanitarian Design

Location: NA, Publication
Client: Design community
Project Team: Alice Min Soo Chun, Irene Brisson, Maryline Damour
Start Date: Summer 2010
Publication: Winter 2012 Click Here to Purchase
Project Description:

This edited anthology provides a wide array of viable solutions to infrastructure, housing, economic growth, health care, and social welfare. Designers can no longer draw from insular practices, but must engage inclusive participation and tools as the binding glue for creating successful self-sustaining cultures and reducing world vulnerability. This book will facilitate the active role of design as a social response to vulnerability and risk, whether preparing a design for furniture or city, by providing guidelines as a vital first step is the development for action. These guidelines; often referred to as “ground rules” or “community norms,” will provide the design community a framework to ensure open, respectful dialogue and maximum participation as collateral for long term sustainability. The functional and beneficial out come of this book is the design and materialization of exemplar building communities emerging from these new paradigms for the future of global humanity. Using the recent earthquake in Haiti as a point of departure for our book, this publication will integrate research and documentation of the cultural history, social and political confluence, and ecological tensions that are systemic in regions where disaster, poverty, and crisis prevail.


Contact FAARM

Email us if you have questions or comments. We’d be happy to help. For press inquiries, please contact Theo Dumont at theo@dumontmarketing.com.

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