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Emergency Floor: Help Refugees Worldwide "Get Off the Ground"

Millions of refugees across the globe, due to global conflict or natural phenomena, are forced to leave their homes and live in low-quality, temporary housing. The majority of these shelters lack a fundamental component of safety and well-being: floors. Emergency Floor is an initiative developed by Sam Brisendine and Scott Key to solve this problem, and bring safety to refugee shelters and the people in them. With their new Indiegogo campaign, Emergency Floor is working to provide efficient, inexpensive flooring that is directly geared towards assisting relief agencies.

Learn more about Emergency Floor after the break. 

Underutilized Wood Pallets. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Module on Wood Pallet. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Floor Module Connection. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Unsafe Living Conditions in Refugee Camp. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor

Exhibition & Symposium: Rebuild By Design Munich

Spanning practice and theory in an innovative and integrative manner, “REBUILD BY DESIGN MUNICH” is oriented towards a broad audience including the interested public, practitioners, scholars and students alike from disciplines in planning and design for the built environment.

Help Shigeru Ban Provide Emergency Shelter to Nepal

Shigeru Ban Architects, together with the Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), has announced plans to send emergency shelter, housing and other community facilitates to the victims of Nepal's deadly April 25th earthquake. As part of a three-phase plan, Shigeru Ban will first delivery and assemble tents with plastic partitions acquired though donation to provide immediate shelter. A few months after, the Japanese practice will collaborate with local architects and students to build temporary housing with materials found prevalent in Nepal.

Permanent housing will also be provided in the architect-led recovery plan's third phase, although little details have been released. However, you can help make it happen by donating to Shigeru Ban's efforts (here). 

Watch Shigeru Ban's TED Talk on paper emergency structures, after the break. 

Archiculture Interviews: Shigeru Ban

“An earthquake doesn’t kill people, the collapse of a building kills people.” In Arbuckle Industrieslatest interview released following their world premiere of Archiculture, architect humanitarian Shigeru Ban clearly delineates “natural” disasters as a product of mankind, rather than nature. Hear the Pritzker laureate’s thoughts on designing for minorities, disasters, and the importance of travel in the video interview above. 

Winners Announced for Architecture for Humanity Vancouver’s “NEXT BIG ONE” Competition

Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of "NEXT BIG ONE," an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that "can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence."  

A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.

Entry No. 626137 - Safety Arena. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626514 - Revive the Moat. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626139 - Modular Landscapes. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626536 - Aqua Estate. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter

OMA & BIG among 6 Winners in Rebuild By Design Competition

Yesterday, US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced OMA, BIG and four other teams as the winner of "Rebuild by Design", a competition aimed at rebuilding areas affected by Hurricane Sandy focusing on resilience, sustainability and and livability.

In total, HUD have allocated $920 million to the six projects in New York, New Jersey and Long Island to enable the completion of this vision.

Read more about the winning schemes after the break

New Medowlands: Productive City + Regional Park, by MIT CAU, ZUS, Urbanisten. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org Living, Growing Breakwaters: Staten Island and Raritan Bay, by SCAPE / Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org Living with the Bay: Resiliency-Building Options for Nassau County’s South Shore by Interboro Team. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

Can Design Compel Communities to Relocate After Natural Disaster?

If you lived in a region repeatedly devastated by storms, would common sense be enough to make you leave your memories behind? Two of the ten proposals for the Rebuild by Design competition (which included proposals from  OMA and BIG) tackle this issue, providing designs that compel communities to move to safety. To learn more about this sensitive and increasingly relevant social and political issue, known as "Managed Retreat," check out James Russell's article on The Atlantic Cities

Exploring Post Earthquake Reconstruction: 2013 AIM Competition Awards Announced

Architects in Mission (AIM) recently announced the winners for their 2013 competition with the topic, Post Earthquake Reconstruction, Ya’an Sichuan - Rebuild Panda’s Hometown from the EarthquakeThe Ya'an Earthquake occurred at 08:02 Beijing Time on the 20th April 2013. The epicenter was located in Lushan County, Ya'an, Sichuan, about 116km (or 72 miles) from Chengdu (along the Longmenshan Fault) in the same province that was hit heavily by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. For this year's competition, AIM asked participants to pay particular attention to the master planning of the Snow Mountain Village, whilst developing new business models to encourage economic growth for local villagers. See the four winning entries after the break.

Earthquakes - How Well Are We Prepared?

In a symposium at the AIA New York Chapter, seismologists, earthquake engineers, seismic code experts, emergency response managers, and architects conversant in seismic design will assemble for a conversation on available technologies and testing capabilities that, surprisingly, are located in New York State. They will "clarify the evolving role of design professionals, the building industry, and municipal and federal agencies in safeguarding our local communities", as well as "educate the audience about the earthquakes, subsurface conditions, and construction approaches."

The Challenges of Post-Disaster Design

In the wake of the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan, architects were asking: "couldn't we have avoided this?" Technically, yes. But while the opportunity to build better exists, such measures are often expensive - and in poverty-stricken areas like the Philippines - cost-prohibitive. A recently published article by Carey Dunne on Co.Design breaks down why disaster-proof construction is such a complex challenge. 

Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: OMA's Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken

Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: OMA's Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken. Image Courtesy of OMA
Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: OMA's Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken. Image Courtesy of OMA

OMA’s comprehensive strategy to rebuild the New Jersey city of Hoboken, after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, has been selected as one of ten initiatives moving forward in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition. The proposal, Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge, focuses on establishing resiliency through the integration of key infrastructural elements that not only protects coastal neighborhoods, but also the entire city of Hoboken. 

Architects & AIA Respond to Devastation in the Philippines, Call for Immediate Help

On Friday, one of the strongest storms ever to hit land left 660,000 Filipinos homeless, with countless more desperately needing basic supplies to survive. 

In the wake of catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity are calling for immediate help as survivors face severe shortages of food, water, shelter and medical supplies. 

Both organizations will be aiding local volunteers to help rebuild in the coming days and weeks. Through speaking with local stakeholders and construction professionals, they are working to begin understanding the on-the-ground situation to prioritize rebuilding needs and help affected regions build back better and stronger. Relief and reconstruction, however, cannot happen without your support. Learn how you can send aid to typhoon victims today after the break. 

Could Libraries Offer More in the Aftermath of Storms?

Zadie Smith recently suggested that libraries are “the only thing left on the high street that doesn’t want either your soul or your wallet." Michael Kimmelman has put forward the argument in the New York Times that local libraries could be far more important than we think in the aftermath of large storms, suggesting that "places that serve us well every day serve us best when disaster strikes" by fostering congregational activity and offering well-needed warmth, power and friendly faces. You can read the full article here.

Newly Released Photos of Shigeru Ban's Cardboard Cathedral in New Zealand

Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral is officially open to the public, just over two years after the crippling 6.3 magnitude earthquake ravished the New Zealand town of Christchurch. With an expected lifespan of 50 years, the temporary cathedral will serve as a replacement for the city’s iconic 1864 Anglican cathedral - one of Christchurch’s most prized landmarks - until a more permanent structure is built. 

TEDxTokyo: Emergency Shelters Made from Paper / Shigeru Ban

Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED

Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.

BIG, OMA Shortlisted by HUD to "Rebuild by Design" Post-Sandy

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced ten shortlisted teams to compete in the multi-stage regional design competition “Rebuild by Design.” Each team will aim to “promote innovation by developing regionally-scalable but locally-contextual solutions that increase resilience in the region, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding.”

The 10 multidisciplinary teams are:

Four NGOs Launch Housing Competition to Aid Disaster Survivors

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Make It Right, St. Bernard Project and Architecture for Humanity has formed a strategic partnership to launch “Designing Recovery,” an ideas competition created to aid in the rebuild of sustainable and resilient communities. 

Help Rebuild Moore

Recovery efforts are underway in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore after a deadly, 1.3-mile-wide tornado carved a 20-mile-long swath of destruction through neighborhoods and schools on Monday afternoon. With winds up to 210 miles per hour and a death count that currently stands at 24, President Obama has declared this tornado to be “one of the most destructive in history,” ranking it at a Category 5. 

In an effort to help, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have mobilized their teams to provide instant assistance and aid in long term reconstruction efforts. Although professional design and construction volunteers from both organizations are already on the ground, the community needs your help. Find out how you can help the residents of Moore after the break.