Lloyd Alter

Architecture For Humanity and A Different Approach to Haiti

by , 01/20/10

sustainable design, green design, green architecture, architecture for humanity, best of treehugger, design for disaster, social design, humanitarian designRed+Housing Emergency Housing by OBRA Architects

Inhabitat recently wrote about Emergency Shelters and Disaster Relief For The People of Haiti and how Shipping Containers Could Provide Disaster Relief For Haiti, both which reflect the standard thinking among architects and designers for decades: “we have great ideas, and if you just let us get involved we could make a huge difference.” And why not – we can design our way out of any problem. Cameron and Kate of Architecture for Humanity, who are young enough that they shouldn’t know better, take a completely different approach – they think that the last thing we should be doing is dropping in shipping containers and hi-tech architectural solutions.

Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr in Wired

They say that you have to take it slow:

When disaster strikes the second disaster that looms is the efficiency and impact of the three R’s – Response, Recovery and Reconstruction. As seen by the poor response by FEMA after Hurricane Katrina, lives are lost when a coordinated effort is not conducted. In a developing country like Haiti the biggest danger is the effects of bad post disaster planning and construction. Waterborne diseases spread like wildfire in temporary camps and dumping sub standard materials not only is dangerous but undermines an existing yet fragile construction industry. Additionally without proper oversight structures are usually rebuilt in unsafe ways by well intentioned volunteers.

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