Johan van Lengen was born in the Netherlands. During the early seventies he abandoned a successful career as an architect in California to dedicate himself to the search for better housing for the disadvantaged.
He has worked for the United Nations and a number of government agencies in Latin America. As one of the founding members of Tibá he continues to develop new ideas in construction technology and how to transfer this knowledge to peoples around the globe.
To facilitate this type of work he wrote and illustrated the "The Barefoot Architect" a vital handbook for all builders.