Photographer Iwan Baan shoots projects for all the big names, from Herzog & de Meuron to Toyo Ito to Zaha Hadid. But he also documents ad-hoc dwellings around the world, in places where communities take development into their own hands—often in close proximity and always in contrast to high-stakes development. As Baan said at last week's TEDCity2.0 conference in New York City, "there really is no kind of normal, and people are able to adapt to any occasion." His photographs find the resiliency in communities such as the unfinished Centro Financiero Confinanzas in Venezuela ("like a 45-story walk-up," he said) and the Makoko community in Nigeria (built entirely on water).
His photos leave me wondering: Maybe we're overthinking affordable housing in America. Maybe we can learn something from these more immediate, small-scale approaches to shelter, rather than large-scale developments and neighborhood gentrification projects. I chatted with Baan after his talk last week.
Iwan Baan photographs the world's buildings as they are made, used and abused by people an approach that's made him the architecture world's most sought-after lensman
IWAN is The Indiana Jones of Architecture Photography