Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.Arch.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Stanley Russell, M.Arch.

Keywords

Humanitarian, Aid, Home, Design, Catastrophe, Recovery

Abstract

Recent natural disasters around the globe have left individuals without shelter. Governments have shown slow response for these victims with examples seen from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. People are still living in structures that are hazardous to their health, insufficient for normal day activity, and socially unacceptable. With the rising numbers of victims and the slow response of governments to provide solutions, a new typology must be designed. This thesis proposes a new typology that will create a responsive design that is efficient, aesthetic, environmentally conscious, and ready for implementation. Transitional housing can be defined as housing that is used during the rebuilding phase for the victims. It is not just an emergency shelter, but a structure that provides a return to normalcy for the victim. For the design to be efficient it must be easily constructed, shipped, and assembled on site.

Aesthetic design, for the purpose of this project, refers to a typology that will be socially acceptable with the user and the surrounding community. Environmentally conscious design reflects energy independence and minimizing waste production. Design that is ready for implementation will include legislation that defines how what should be used for aid towards victims. With my interest in the efficiency of the construction of the project I intend to build a full scale model of the typology to exhaust all the requirements of construction. Research into design for manufacturing and fabrication will be conducted in order to obtain knowledge of the aspect of construction. In order to produce efficient shipping and assembly methods, companies that utilize these systems will be researched.

To achieve aesthetic design, a study of contemporary architecture for small scale structures will be used and interaction with victims and communities will be established, as well as reviewing previous works designed for humanitarian aid. By studying technologies for household environmental sustainability, new concepts can be developed for use in this typology. Detailed focus on passing legislation that allows victims to access these properly designed shelters can prevent the use of substandard living facilities found in FEMA trailer communities.

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