Frequently Asked Questions

Does the JI program only work internationally?

No.  Although most projects have been designed for developing countries, JI will adopt projects anywhere that has humanitarian needs. 

Is there a fee for this service?

The JI team feels strongly that all parties involved on projects need to have some ‘skin in the game’.  Therefore, there is typically a small admin fee for humanitarian organizations, and an agreement to cover some site visit expenses.  Specifics are arranged with an MOU agreement upon project acceptance.

What is the timeline for design work?

The design timeline depends on the particular designer’s timeframe.  For example, an architecture thesis student at ‘University A’ may have a 9 month design time, but a student at ‘University B’ may only have 3 months for an independent study. 

What is the role of the professional mentor

Professional mentors are industry professionals who volunteer to support and critique the design process.  We encourage mentors to critique design work at least twice a month.  While we encourage proactive mentors, it is important to be respectful of the student’s professor and their willingness for outside influence. 

What happens when the student finishes?  Who carries on with the project?

Students are given a thorough design guideline that, if followed completely, produces a detailed project proposal (design book as seen on the projects page) and ‘preliminary construction drawings’. However, it is only the first step in completing a successful construction project.  Once the students have completed their work, the Humanitarian Partner is responsible for attaining professionals (preferably in the project country) to prepare the project for construction. The JI program does not completely prepare projects for construction. 

Is every project, student and mentor accepted into the program?

No.  All projects and volunteers and screened to insure projects are worthy, and volunteers meet our criteria (experience, talent, passion for humanitarian work, time availability, etc.) 

Would the JI Program be a good fit at my university?

The JI Curriculum was developed with the intent of fitting into a professor’s curriculum.  Professors have the ability to adopt the JI Program, and modify or adjust deliverables as they see fit. If the program fits within professors existing systems, it can be a fit for the university.  Contact us with further questions.  

Does JI help pay for construction costs?

No.  While the JI program empowers humanitarian organizations with tens of thousands of dollars in Soft Costs savings (design, fundraising materials, engineering, etc.), we do not financially support the Hard Costs (bricks, mortar, land, labor, etc.).  However, student project proposals have proven to be a very effective fundraising tool for organizations.

Can only students design projects with JI?

No.  While the program was developed to connect students with humanitarian projects, our primary objective is to provide quality design for humanitarian organizations.  If you are an emerging professional, professional or retired professional that would like to design a project and are able to volunteer a generous amount of time, we can make this opportunity available to you.   

How does JI attain projects?

Projects are either submitted by organizations that have heard about JI, or through extensive searching by the JI staff and students. We are always looking for more quality projects, so please send leads to our website! The JI team either provides projects to students, or directs the students on how to search for quality humanitarian projects. 

Do all JI designed projects get built?

No, but this is our goal!  We only select projects that have a high likelihood of getting built.  Working in the developing world has many challenges (corruption, natural disasters, etc.) that can effect a project outcome.

Fortunately, the JI program has many positive benefits even if the project does not get built.  Primarily, the interdisciplinary and real-world global design opportunity is invaluable for students.  The program also provides excellent philanthropic and recruiting opportunities for volunteer companies.

What are JI's methods of quality control?

The JI team does not personally manage quality control from start to finish on a project, but our platform was developed with 5 levels of quality control prior to a project being constructed.

1. We screen and select only high level and passionate designers.

2. We provide designers with a detailed curriculum that guides them through the design process for developing countries and is filled with examples of our standards of quality.

3. Experienced professors work with students daily on their designs.  Most professors are also licensed architects.

4. JI coordinates industry professional mentors to critique student designs and work with them throughout the design process.

5. All project designs are reviewed and approved by in-country design, engineering, and construction professionals.  JI provides clients with guidelines on what to look for and how to select these professionals.  

Important Considerations:

 The JI program is designed to guide students to produce the two following final deliverables.  Each student’s professor may modify these deliverables as they see fit.  We encourage all humanitarian partners to express their desires for the final deliverables.

  1. Preliminary Construction Drawings (example): A preliminary set of construction drawings that can be finalized by in-country professionals.
  2. Project Design Book (example): For the project design book, students follow a handbook that focuses on these topics:

Environment: Geography, climate, flora and fauna, site hazards, industry and economic goals, socioeconomic, history and political structure, currency, transportation, and infographics.

Social: Demographics, religion, culture, etiquette, languages, and health.

Design: Program, vernacular, circulation studies, and process.

Construct: Vision and phasing requirements, design rationale, site and grading analysis, structural systems, regional, local and site utilities, sustainability strategies, floor plans, elevations, sections, renderings, physical models, construction estimate, construction schedule, stormwater pollution prevention, safety plans, hazard mitigation, site logistics, contracts and bidding, feasibility analysis.

While JI connects some of the world’s top design students and coordinates layers of quality control (professors and professional mentors), it is important to remember that they are still students. Student designers are not yet professionals and are not being paid for this work. While the JI program provides a curricular structure with levels of oversite, the resulting outcome cannot be guaranteed. We encourage you to review the ‘projects’ section of our website to see previous student projects. By selecting quality students and overseers, past partners have been thrilled with the product result.  However, a satisfied result cannot be guaranteed.

Journeyman International, including students, universities, and mentors hold no liability in regards to project designs.  All design and engineering work is to be reviewed, modified, and approved by legal professionals in the country of the project origin.

The JI program results in two final deliverables: a) a design book (as seen on the projects page), and b) preliminary construction drawings. It is important to note that these construction drawings are preliminary and NOT construction-ready. These documents are created to support the in-country professional who will be creating the construction-ready drawings.