Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, monsoons in India, and now the disasters in Japan. Each has left thousands displaced from their homes, giving us, as architects, reason to re-think the idea of temporary housing. In Chile, strict building codes helped some infrastructure withstand the 8.5 quake; yet, there is a limit to the pre-disaster measures a country can take. So, what are the steps for dealing with the after effects of the disaster, be it wind, water, or seismic damages?
Each world tragedy brings with it the opportunity for the creative to find solutions that will help give shelter to people. There are many obstacles to overcome in Japan’s case – roads are completely destroyed which presents quite a challenge to collect and transport material, plus snow has covered much of the region. Yet, if we could re-think the idea of a house and pool our efforts to create a system of rapid response temporary housing that can overcome such obstacles, think of the number of people in devastated areas that would benefit from such a project.
More after the break.
There are many opportunities to help the country of Japan [be sure to view Architecture for Humanity’s plan that we've shared earlier]. And, after the quakes in Chile and Haiti, we shared some architects’ ideas for possible housing solutions [such as Andres Duany's proposal, Clemson University's SEED, Emilio Marin's ideas]. Perhaps, these could serve as a source of inspiration and transform into a great initiative to help those displaced from their homes.
As The Yomiuri Shimbun reports, “An estimated 440,000 evacuees are living in very difficult conditions in shelters because of the more than 5,000 houses that were completely destroyed in the natural disaster. Counting homes with significant damage, this number rises to over 80,000.” The need for such a project is evident and with perhaps a multidisciplinary approach to such a problem, we could find a solution.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the disaster.