Architecture has been criticized for being a primary elitist indulgence. Most architectural projects are funded by the wealthy and seen as a means of bringing beauty into the surrounding environment. Architecture, however, is a double-sided coin with functionality balancing out aesthetics. With the ability to strategize radical solutions, architects equally find themselves at the forefront of solving complex issues. The context of South-East Asia offers a demanding challenge with various social problems, giving architects a chance to save the world with humanitarian design.
South East Asia comprises a vast number of diverse social groups, each tackling its own set of problems. Some issues that remain common are lack of affordable housing, loss of traditional agriculture-based livelihoods, environmental concerns, and vanishing social identity. Cost-efficiency becomes an important aspect for social architecture where resourceful and tailored design must be affordable.