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5 Architectural Secrets of the Badjao: 21st Century Sea People

Thousands of years ago, a small civilization of hunter gatherers migrated to the coastal regions of Southeast Asia. These people progressed into a widespread tribe of travelling sea dwellers. To this day, they remain a stateless people with no nationality and no consistent infrastructure, sometimes living miles away from land. Yet these people are one of the few civilizations whose collective life practices have survived so long through human history. They are called the Badjao, and they have a surprising amount to teach us about architecture.

Badjao community off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Image © Dolly MJ via Shutterstock Badjao woman rowing boat. Image © Dolly MJ via Shutterstock Temporary construction in Southeast Asian ocean. Image © asnida via Shutterstock Badjao child rowing near coast. Image © idome via Shutterstock

Designing for Adaptable Futures Winners Announced

Adaptable Street by Maxime Rousseau and Paul Jaquet © Adaptable Futures
Adaptable Street by Maxime Rousseau and Paul Jaquet © Adaptable Futures

The 2012 results for the DAF (Designing Adaptable Futures) International Student Design Competition are in! A joint first prize, a third prize and five honorable mentions were awarded among 150 submission from 26 countries. The competition asked students to present an architectural proposal that had a transformable quality that could make the physical or experiential space change over any given span of time. The prompt embraces what Adaptable Futures is about. The organization looks at the value of longevity in architecture through the adaptability of the built environment. It challenges notions of monumental architecture and architecture as a symbol of its time. It asks, instead to design with the context – the present – and its “temporal reality” – the changing and evolving future – in mind. After the break, take a look at the projects that were selected for best embodying the ability for architecture to adapt.