reThink shelter . . .

more than 500,000 people have been made homeless by the earthquake / tsunami combo about a month ago in japan. it was heartening to see japanese architect, shigeru ban, respond as he has many times in the past. in february 2003, i heard ban speak at harvard’s school of graduate design and at that time, he mentioned his recent projects with paper houses in turkey and india. i would encourage you to look at his website, especially his extensive disaster relief project works:

disaster relief projects: evacuation facilities in japan 2011

disaster relief projects: paper atelier, onagawa, miyagi

directly and indirectly this reminded me of a project that i did with david michaud in a design studio, for sophomores at wentworth institute of technology, in the spring of 2002. the goal of the studio was for our design students to develop temporary shelters for emergency workers responding to natural disasters. these emergency workers could include groups like hot shot firefighting crews, the national guard, doctors without borders / médecins sans frontières or the international red cross / red crescent societies. the entire, pre-production design prototypes were built in teams as a kit of parts. these shelter kits, had to be assembled with simple hand tools in a matter of minutes from a 4 ft. by 4 ft. pallet that had been dropped off the back of a truck. the prototypes needed design validation. the night before the final critique, the id sophomores slept in their shelters, in the rain on wentworth’s quad. at the final critique, in addition to other wentworth design faculty, we were joined by kerrick johnson, architect and a faculty member at roger williams university’s school of architecture. this design project pre-dates the tsunami in indonesia around christmas, 2004, hurricane katrina in louisiana in august 2005, the earthquake in haiti in january 2010 as well as the recent disaster in japan . . .

wentworth institute of technology, id studio instructors:
matthew burger & david michaud

industrial design sophomores:
rohit anand • erin atwood • james bishai • kris carlson • phil carroll • megan crowley • joe daxberger • matthew dougherty • cathlin eagan • nuno ferreira • lucas freitsa • john hughes • hern kim • david langlais • josh lavoie • bianca lupo • jake marks • ryan merry • drew nelson • jerry ni • sayuri ozawa • scott petricho • matthew predeville • matt sheehan • kristino tacito • adam tull

posted 11 April 2011

categories design, education