North American Sustainability, Housing and Community Consortium (NASHCC)

Sketches from Fingers of Hope Publication

2004 Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education

McGill School of Architecture and Dalhousie Faculty of Architecture and Planning are joint partners in an architectural project/exchange involving two schools of architecture in Mexico (Monterrey and UNAM) and two in the USA (Ball State University and University of Texas at Austin). The Federal Government program is funded in Canada by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).


The goal of the North American Sustainability, Housing, and Community Consortium (NASHCC) is to advance sustainable housing through community partnership. This four year continental exchange program in architecture will expose 60 students from Mexico, the US, and Canada to urgent problems of urban housing and sustainable development in North American cities. Students will work in hands-on design and problem-solving situations that demand and develop the community-based, multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural and multi-lingual professional skills that are essential for mobility in a North America without borders.

Through improved information-flow and practical application, the NASHCC will enhance the ability of existing degree programs to prepare graduates to lead their professions and communities towards planning and design for sustainable development and dignified housing for all. The consortium will provide advanced theory and application experiences in sustainable planning, design, and housing in diverse and global contexts.

Applicants intending to apply to the NASHCC internship should have strong interests in sustainability, housing issues, and material culture. Housing and community/settlement patterns will be a major focus of the program of study. The internship may involve practical field-work as well as academic study. Those interested in the two Mexican host institutions should have some Spanish language background. A written letter explaining previous study or experience, along with your research and design or planning interests will be a major part of the recruiting process.


Specific objectives of the NASHCC are:

1. To establish collaborative agreements, including protocols for student mobility among participating universities, as the basis for long term institutional linkages.

2. To sponsor 60 students (20 from Mexico, 20 from Canada, 20 from U.S.) over the program’s 4-year period, in semester-long exchanges between the three countries. Between 2005 and 2008, Dalhousie Faculty of Architecture and Planning will send 10 students and receive 10 students, as will McGill School of Architecture.

3. To develop common curricula and research endeavors centered around sustainability and housing.

4. To facilitate immersion of students in local practical experiences with firms or community organizations.

5. To collaboratively disseminate the NASHCC experience through consortium partners to the global business, planning, design, and academic communities that must partner together in order to lead society to a sustainable future that addresses the housing needs of all.

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