Jan 14th 2014

Designing Resilient Schools (iversity)

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How can architecture help people in times of urgent need caused by natural disasters? In this course, we will design resilient schools that could serve as community centers and shelters for the victims of the devastating typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

On November 9, 2013 the devastating typhoon Haiyan hit the Phillipines, causing more than 5,000 deaths and destroying the homes and cities for millions. Natural disasters are happening more and more often due to climate change. We can’t do much to stop them, but as architects we can help with the recovery and to build shelters that would withstand them.

The goal of this online course is to generate design ideas for resilient schools for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and other natural disasters. The participants in this course will design schools, which could be implemented by the Department of Education and Architecture for Humanity in the Philippines. We will engage with a team of architects, planners, engineers, and social workers. After the course, the projects and instructions will be placed on the open source platform Open Online Architecture (, so anyone can download and use them.

An international jury will select the best projects, which will eventually be built. We’ll have weekly lectures and daily discussions on our forum. A team of professors, consultants, and teaching assistants led by Prof. Ivan Shumkov will guide and assist all students in their work.

Course Schedule

Chapter 1, Dec 16: Climate change, its effects and our response

Chapter 2, Dec 23: Resilient schools design guidelines

Chapter 3, Jan 6 : Resilient schools design feedback

Chapter 4, Jan 13: Teamwork and schools final design

Chapter 5, Jan 20: Projects submission and selection process

Previous experience in design is recommended, but there will be opportunities for others to participate. The course work will be collaboration between people from many different backgrounds: design, engineering, economics, healthcare, social studies. They will share and exchange their knowledge, skills and energy to design solutions that are resilient, feasible, sustainable, buildable, etc.

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