APLA Faculty Recognized with Auburn Author Award

Designed for Habitat: New Directions for Habitat for Humanity book

Co-authors David Hinson, College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC) Associate Dean, and Justin Miller, Head of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (APLA), were recently among 22 Auburn University faculty members and staff recognized with a 2024 Auburn Author Award in a ceremony at the university’s Ralph B. Draughon Library.

The award, co-sponsored by the Auburn University Libraries and the Graduate School, recognizes faculty and staff members who published a book-length scholarly work during the previous calendar year. Hinson and Miller were recognized for their 2023 publication of “Designed for Habitat: New Directions for Habitat for Humanity.”

“Justin and I are very grateful to the CADC and the university for the support we received as we developed this book,” said co-author Hinson. “It’s an honor to be in the 2024 Auburn Author Award cohort and to have a copy of our book included in the AU Library collection.”

The book, which updates and expands on the pair’s 2012 work “Designed for Habitat: Collaborations with Habitat for Humanity,” contains 12 new projects that “reflect new approaches to building scale, construction technology and design and context.” The projects range from Habitat’s traditional single-family typology to row homes, townhomes and micro-housing. They also illustrate complex partnerships between the affiliates and public agencies, for-profit developers and energy providers.

David Hinson
Justin Miller
Justin Miller
David Hinson accepting Auburn Author Award from Shali Zhang, Dean of Libraries
Hinson accepting Auburn Author Award from Shali Zhang, Dean of Libraries

Habitat for Humanity (HFH) was founded by Auburn alumnus Millard Fuller and his wife Linda in 1976 with a vision to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The organization—now the largest nonprofit housing builder and developer in the U.S.—operates at a local level through independent affiliates to provide affordable housing to families in need.

Authors Hinson and Miller have more than 20 years’ experience with Habitat affiliates in Alabama. Their first Habitat project, a design-build studio, was completed in 2002 as a partnership between the Auburn Architecture program and the Auburn-Opelika Habitat affiliate. Over that period, Habitat for Humanity has undergone tremendous evolution, both organizationally and in how it plans and constructs low-income housing.

The 12 projects featured in the new book were chosen to reflect that evolution. On the organizational level, those changes include increased use of public-private/corporate partnerships and a shift from a top-down to a bottom-up relationship between HFHI headquarters and its affiliates.

On a construction and design level, the projects reflect an increased attention to and awareness of the effects of climate change, improvements in energy efficiency, the use of professional contractors versus volunteer labor and a greater diversity in the design, location and type of modern Habitat homes.

“As longtime observers and partners with Habitat for Humanity, we were even more impressed with the way the organization is adapting and evolving to meet the momentous challenges of housing affordability,” said Hinson of his and Miller’s motivation in documenting these changes in their appropriately titled “New Directions” book. “There has been a lot of evolution in HFH over the decade between the first book and today and we wanted to address those change drivers in our new book.”

Related people:
David Hinson, Justin Miller