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These Schools for Refugee Children in Jordan are Built Using Scaffolding and Sand

Using the ground “beneath your feet,” the Pilosio Building Peace organization, along with architects Pouya Khazaeli and Cameron Sinclair, have developed RE:BUILD, an incredible constructive system for building safe and comfortable structures in refugee camps. The system allows for the construction of temporary buildings of high quality through the use of wall panels formed with scaffolding and grids, which are then assembled and filled with gravel, sand or earth, creating well insulated interiors at a low cost. 

Although the structures can be used for hospitals, housing, and other functions on this occasion we present two schools constructed using this system in Jordan.

Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Queen Rania Park, Amman, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace Queen Rania Park, Amman, Jordan. Image Courtesy of Pilosio Building Peace

Nikolay Polissky Creates Towering, Handcrafted Structures Across Russia

Born in 1957 in Moscow, artist Nikolay Polissky creates impressive, handcrafted structures in the middle of Russia's vast landscapes. Mostly carried out in the town of Nikola Lenivets -- located 200 km from the Russian capital --  his works are built entirely by the area's residents, using local materials, such as branches, trunks and wooden tables. Traditional construction techniques are used as a starting point for the projects. 

His work is inspiring not only because of its imposing form, but also because he managed to re-activate a semi-abandoned village through art and architecture, involving residents in the creative process and transforming the region into a sort of open cultural center. Since 2003, his work has been part of Archstoyanie, the largest Land-Art festival in Russia.

Gates of Perm (2011). Image © Tima Radya Hyperboloid / Volcano (2009). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Lighthouse (2004). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Media tower (2002). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky

The Courtyard of Our Dreams / Lukas Fúster

  • Architects: Lukas Fúster
  • Location: Remansito, Paraguay
  • Project And Construction: Lukas Fúster, Carlos Irigoitia, Martin Aponte
  • Design Process: girls, boys, youth and mothers of the community center "UNIDOS AVANZAREMOS", Global Infancia, Amelí Schneider, Sofía Alfieri
  • Photographs: Federico Cairoli

© Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli © Federico Cairoli

It's "Time For Strategic Architecture"

In an article for the New York Times, Alexandra Lange discusses a number of US projects which are "transforming, but not disrupting," their respective communities. In this vein, she cites Mecanoo and Sasaki Associates' new Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury, Boston, as a prime example of a new kind of architecture which "comes from understanding of past civic hopes, redesigning them to meet the future." Examining some of the key concepts that make for successfully integrated community buildings, such as the creation of spaces that actively forge personal connections, Lange concludes that perhaps it is now "time for strategic architecture."

Interested in Public-Interest Design? Apply to the Enterprise Rose Fellowship By July 10

Shelter is a basic human need, but over 11 million families cannot afford a safe and stable place to live. In a crusade to change this sad fact, the Enterprise Rose Fellowship gives socially-minded architects the tools they need to pursue careers in affordable housing and community development. For more on the learning opportunity, head over to Next City and click here.

Cape Town Adopts Re-Blocking Strategy for Informal Settlements

The city of Cape Town has adopted a new strategy for improving informal settlements - re-blocking, "the reconfiguration and repositioning of shacks in very dense informal settlements in accordance to a community-drafted spatial framework." Re-blocking serves to create communal spaces, make neighborhoods safer, and improve dwelling structures - among many other things. To see how it has been implemented and where, head to Future Cape Town and continue reading here.

A McDonald's Controversy Raises Debate on Designing for the Elderly

In an article for the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman gets to the bottom of an unusual local dispute: a McDonald's in Queens, New York is kicking out groups of elderly Koreans who are out-staying their 20-minute welcome (and who have no access to community spaces nearby). The story raises an important question: how can we design our cities with elder populations in mind (a generation on track to out-number all others in the next few years)? You can read this poignant tale in full here.

Strelka Talks: Architecture and Community / Reinier de Graaf

"The Community" might be the most frequently used term over the last 50 years of Architectural and Urban discourse. For decades, "the community" has served as a legitimization for anything from Team X to New Urbanism, from Celebration to "vancouverism". But what is "the community"? Where should we look for the proper definition? How did communities appear in the past and how do they form today? Can 'the community" influence the design of its own space, territoiry or context? If yes, what could be the relationship between the community and architecture in the future? 

In his Strelka talk Reinier de Graaf is trying to answer these and other, even more complex questions.

Via the Strelka Institute.