This week during the lecture with Dean Fischer, I noticed that he brought up a very good point (among many). he said that architects have been handed that task of designing for disasters. He mentioned that a project that was being developed that could be deployed quickly and efficiently could have a huge benefit in the relief of disaster victims. That got me thinking about what is out there as far as shelters for putting up in disaster sites. I found one that is quite genius.
One thing that initially annoyed me was that these did not look architectural. They looked aesthetically gross and unpleasing to look at. And then I woke up, and realized that someone who has just been traumatized, and is fighting for their life, doesn’t give a crap about what it looks like. These shelter are 100% about function and how easy they are to use. The design in these shelters is not about how pretty it looks, but can it be durable and hold up in a disaster situation with high usage and can it employ a specific program.
One that I found really fit the context of this demand was the Hexayurt Project. It was first introduced at Burning Man, where there were tons of Hexayurt huts around the complex. This hut system was designed to take normal building material and turn them into zero waste housing that can be used in disaster and struggling communities around the entire world. They were originally concieved by Vinay Gupta, who is one of the world’s leading thinkers on infrastructure theory, state failure solutions, and managing global system risks including poverty/development and the environmental crisis. He has jumped into the field of disaster relief with this new shelter build, and it has really taken off.
If we can take this initiative and design these structures simply for emergencies, then we as designers innovate beyond what the world expects of us. To do this, we must design with a program in mind, throw aesthetics to the wind (literally), and design for ease of use by humans and aiding other people in the world.