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Refugee Camps: From Temporary Settlements to Permanent Dwellings

With more than 70 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, according to the UNHCR, and nearly 25.9 million refugees, the time has come to reconsider the traditional emergency camp approach. Although the concept is temporary by definition, in real life the lifespan of these refugee camps exceeds the planned and the expected.

Ranging from seven to seventeen years, most of these settlements surpass their expiry dates. Actually, on average, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kenya, "many displaced persons spend more than 16 years living as refugees in temporary shelter."

A tent city in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Image © Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of ACNUR Courtesy of refugeecamp.ca SANLIURFA, TURKEY - February 19, 2014: Aerial view of Akcakale Refugee Camp. Approximately 28.000 Syrian people reside in Akcakale Tent Camp in Urfa.. Image via Shutterstock/ By answer5 + 10

How Can Architecture Combat Flooding? 9 Practical Solutions

Flooding is a significant problem for buildings all around the world, including architectural treasures like the Farnsworth House that have been plagued by the issue time and time again. In particular, one-third of the entire continental U.S. are at risk of flooding this spring, especially the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and Deep South. Last April, deadly floods decimated parts of Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Iran as well, resulting in a low estimate of 1,000 deaths while tens of thousands more were displaced. While architecture cannot solve or even fully protect from the most deadly floods, it is possible – and necessary – to take several protective measures that could mitigate damage and consequently save lives.

Flood in St Mark’s Square, Venice. Image © Mclein / Shutterstock "Fold&Float" is formed of a light, foldable steel structure specifically designed for emergency situations. Image © So? © Flickr user benjamin73fr Domino Park / James Corner Field Operations. Image © Barrett Doherty + 14

The Versatility of OSB Panels in 12 Projects

OSB (Oriented Strand Board) can be easily recognized for its distinctive appearance. This material consists of cross-oriented layers of wood strands compressed and bonded together with resin, applied under high pressure and temperature. As a result, the standardized panels have great stiffness, strength, and stability, and are often used as wall cladding attached to the steel frame of a building or as partitions. Also, they have good soundproofing capabilities, since the panels are uniform and have no internal gaps or voids. It is also worth mentioning that OSB can be fully recycled, thereby being considered eco-friendly.

Which Materials are Easiest to Recycle?

The construction industry is responsible for 75% of the consumption of earth's natural resources. Stone, sand, iron, and many other finite resources are extracted in huge quantities to supply the markets. Additionally, construction sites themselves generate enormous quantities of waste, whether through construction, demolition, or remodeling. In Brazil, for example, construction waste can represent between 50% and 70% of the total mass of municipal solid waste [1]. This waste often ends up in landfills and dumps rather than being properly disposed of, overwhelming municipal sanitation systems and creating informal disposal sites.

How Community Participation can Assist in Architectural and Urban Post-Disaster Reconstruction

The concepts of autonomy, collaboration, and participation have gained relevance in architecture and urbanism through collaborative actions involving the community, architects, urban planners, and designers. As the number of climate disasters has significantly increased - doubling in the last 40 years according to a report released in 2016 by CRED (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters) - in addition to conflicts and other tragedies, the demand for the rebuilding of houses and infrastructure in affected areas has grown simultaneously. This has called for a major collaborative effort in architectural and urban reconstruction.

Possibilities of Forms for Molding Exposed Concrete

Peter Zumthor, in one of his most emblematic works, gives concrete an almost sacred dimension. The work in question is the small Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, located in a small village in Germany, a construction that is both robust and sensitive. Built with white cement, which was mixed with stones and sand from the region, the chapel is composed of 24 layers of concrete that were poured day after day by local labor, and compressed in an unusual way. The building's flat and smooth exterior contrasts with its interior, which was initially made of inclined wooden logs forming a triangular void. To remove these internal forms, the logs were set on fire in a controlled process, reducing them to ash and creating a carbonized interior that varied between black and gray and retained the texture of the negatives of the logs. The result is a masterpiece of architecture, a space for reflection and transformation, in which the same material appears in diametrically opposing ways.

Casa Canal / Studio MK27 - Marcio Kogan + Lair Reis. Image © Fran Parente Casa na Aldeia da Serra / MMBB Arquitetos + SPBR Arquitetos. Image © Nelson Kon Casa no meio do caminho / Enrique Martin Moreno + Lucio Muniain et al. Image © Lucio Muniain Casa no Jardim Paulistano / GrupoSP. Image © Nelson Kon + 17

A New Apparatus for Design Education: An Inside Look at SCI-Arc's EDGE Master Program

SCI-Arc’s Master of Science in Design Theory and Pedagogy is a one-year program that addresses the growing ambiguity between practice and academia and prepares students for the new hybrid career that has emerged in architecture: the architect-theorist-educator. As shifting political, social, cultural, technological, and ecological paradigms redefine architecture, the program speculates on how architects will practice in the future, interrogates current pedagogical models, and focuses on what needs to be rethought, advanced, or challenged. One of five master’s programs within SCI-Arc EDGE, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, Design Theory and Pedagogy prepares young architects for new forms of architectural practice.

The Post Anthropocene: JOA's Exhibition Envision Life in Hard Future

JOA is honoured to participate in the 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen). We have always taken the research led perspective as the starting point of the design, trying to discuss the story behind the architecture in greater depth, and present it to the public through the exhibition. Our understanding of the future world is more based on the perspective of architecture rather than sci-fi movies. The premise of envisioning the future is actually to discuss the current social pain points, and then come up with critical reflections in a future dimension, which we call "The Post Anthropocene” project.

Architecture post COVID-19: the Profession, the Firms, and the Individuals

As the world is slowly reopening, easing lockdown measures, everyone is adapting to new realities. Imposing drastic adjustments to our lives, the coronavirus has introduced a new “normal”, changing our perceptions and altering our priorities. Driven towards questioning and evaluating our environment, we are constantly reacting and anticipating a relatively unknown future.

A casual conversation between two editors at ArchDaily generated this collaborative piece that seeks to investigate the current trends, predict the future, and offer insights to everyone/everything related to the architectural field. Tackling the evolution of the profession, the firms, and the individuals, especially young adults and students, this article, produced by Christele Harrouk and Eric Baldwin, aims to reveal what is happening in the architecture scene.

This 125-year-old Swedish Town Has Relocated, Buildings and All

Kiruna Forever, an exhibition at ArkDes, traces the town's relocation due to geological instability.

“Kiruna is on the move,” says Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, curator of the new exhibition Kiruna Forever. Kiruna, a 125-year-old Swedish town that sprouted around the iron mine of the same name, started an official relocation process in 2018 after decades of discussion with the state-owned mining company LKAB. Today, as the expansion of the mine destabilizes the ground surrounding it, nearby buildings are being demolished or loaded onto flatbed trucks and moved to the new city center nearly two miles east.

The Use of Prefabrication in 6 Emergency Projects Around the World

Rural Housing Prototype in Apan / DVCH De Villar CHacon Architecture. Image: © Jaime Navarro Soto
Rural Housing Prototype in Apan / DVCH De Villar CHacon Architecture. Image: © Jaime Navarro Soto

Emergencies include a variety of contemporary scenarios ranging from natural disasters to extreme poverty or isolation due to social and political conflicts. In all cases, the disruption of normality and the requirement of basic needs for maintaining a decent quality of life become the basis for finding quick and efficient alternatives to respond to this type of urgency.

From Red to Green: The Contradictory Aesthetics of Oxidized Facades

For a small child, understanding the concept of time and its passage is very difficult. As a result, children are often impatient when expecting something or confused when trying to remember something from the past. They live in the present, and learn the notion of time only little by little. But accepting the passage of time, and the reality of aging, is something that plagues us even as adults. The lucrative cosmetic and plastic surgery industries show how humanity seeks to control or deny the passage of time, an urge that has proved to be relentless.

How New York City's Architecture Has Responded to National Emergencies over the Last 20 Years

New York City is the pinnacle hybrid between the vibrant and granular neighborhoods that Jane Jacobs once envisioned and the sweeping urban innovations of Robert Moses. However, its diverse population has experienced hardship over the last twenty years, forcing the city into a recursive wave of self-reflection to reevaluate the urban strategies, design trends, and global transportation methods that it had grown so accustomed to. After the September 11th and Hurricane Sandy tragedies, the delicate balance between promoting a sense of individual culture and the strength in unity that New Yorkers are so often known for served as the lifeblood for revitalization. New York City has consistently handled adversity, by always rethinking, redesigning, and rebuilding this city for a better future.

Education Needed: 4 Schools Designed in Response to Crises

As an aftermath of natural disasters, viruses and wars, in society, we often require emergency architecture. In this round-up, we explore how emergency architecture can accommodate educational needs and how it can bring together a community that has suffered social and economic hardship. 

Emergency architecture can occur under a variety of circumstances and through the recent COVID-19 pandemic we have started to get a glimpse of the urgency for certain types of architecture across the world. What we sometimes take for granted in regards to socialising — a sense of community and access to quality education — some countries go without for large periods of time due to natural disasters, viruses and war. 

Community Primary School for Girls / Orkidstudio © Peter Dibdin InsideOut School / Andrea Tabocchini & Francesca Vittorini © Andrea Tabocchini Unión Alto Sanibeni Nursery and Primary School / Semillas © Eleazar Cuadros Primary School in Gando / Kéré Architecture © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk + 5

Emergency Architecture: How Temporary Should It Be?

Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, war, economic and social conflicts, pandemics. The number of refugees in the world is setting records year after year. Immediate and temporary solutions, produced in batches in response to crises, mark the difference between doing what is possible and doing what should be done, always doing a lot with what's at hand. But how temporary is emergency architecture? Is it more permanent than we think?

We want to offer our readers the possibility to openly express their opinions and experience on the matter. If we were aware of the difficulty of coping with major losses, that result in the temporary becoming "permanent", would it change the way we design emergency architecture? Would we demand a higher quality emergency architecture? Would we propose other types of solutions?

We invite our readers to fill out the following form and share their ideas on this topic -- the opinions will be collected and processed by our team to form a future article.

Architectonic & Structural Possibilities of Log Wood

The world of architecture and construction has observed, with increasing attention, technological innovations involving wood. Although it is a material that has been widely used for thousands of years, recent research involving industrial manufacturing and machining technologies has provided even greater quality control and an increased diversity of uses, causing it to be described by many as the material of the future. To this end, common myths including wood's lack of resistance to fire and the implausibility of using it to structure tall buildings have been debunked.

© Christian Flatscher © Atelier Vens Vanbelle © Hey!Cheese © Photography Felix Friedmann + 18

11 Colombian Houses That Feature Exposed Brick

Brick is one of the most widely used materials in Colombia, making the architectural designs in its capital city, Bogotá, stand out worldwide. Due to the excellent quality of the clay found in some regions of the country, brick is used in all aspects of construction, from adobe floor slabs to exterior facades.

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