After Earthquakes: Top Down Solutions or Bottom Up?


Prefabs by Andrés Duany

TreeHugger didn't show many of the proposals for housing in Haiti, like Andrés Duany's proposals for a flatpack design (here in Jetson Green); We have spent too much time with Cameron Sinclair, who says "Top down solutions will cause tragic consequences for generations to come. This cannot happen in Haiti. They have suffered enough."

Coincidentally on the day of another big earthquake, Metropolis picks up the story with an article by Karrie Jacobs, a prefab pioneer and the author of The Perfect $100000 House. She comes to much the same conclusion.
Joseph Bellomo proposal

Karrie writes about all of the different housing ideas and quotes Cameron Sinclair. But then she comes up with her key point:

The way to address Haiti's particular set of problems is with less architectural magic and more garden-variety diligence. And that diligence can be taught.

She concludes that architecture and design, much like we say about food and just about everything else these days, is best done locally. She quotes Mario Flores of Habitat for Humanity:

"It's not only because it's culturally sound and appropriate, but you actually want the money that has been raised to be invested in Haiti, with the people there," he says. And for once, because of the earthquake and the outpouring of support from the international community, there will be money for rebuilding. "You don't want to give that money to a big manufacturing company in China or anywhere else." Flores adds, "It's a matter of justice, I think."

Read the whole thing in Metropolis

On Earthquakes and Architecture in TreeHugger

Comparing Haiti and Chile: Did Building Codes Save Lives?
Are Shipping Containers An Answer For Haiti Housing?
Help Design a Guide for Earthquake-resistant Housing

Tags: Architects | Architecture For Humanity | Cameron Sinclair | China | Haiti

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