The architecture of relief: how design builds hope in the wake of disaster

Half a billion dollars and more to make Wellington resilient

Half a billion dollars is being spent on things some Wellingtonians may never see so the city can be prepared if disaster strikes.

Resilience jumps to the forefront of the public’s minds each time a natural event such as the Kaikōura earthquake creates a rude awakening, but there is a fairly sharp drop-off too, Mayor Justin Lester said.

“I attended close to 50 public meetings as we headed towards the 2016 election,” he said.

“I don’t think in any instance did anybody talk about resilience, not a member of the public . . . post-earthquake in November 2016, all of a sudden everybody was interested.”…


Engineering Innovations in Times of Disaster Save Lives

The response to the unparalleled damage caused by Cyclone Winston and the Canterbury Earthquakes have taken away two prestigious awards at engineering’s equivalent of the Oscars, the 2018 ACENZ Innovate Awards.

In the spotlight were Tonkin + Taylor (T+T) engineers, Dr Sjoerd van Ballegooy and Dr Tim Fisher, for their world-leading work in the identification and qualification of complex land damage – in particular, liquefaction and flooding – caused by the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquakes….


The architecture of relief: how design builds hope in the wake of disaster

female architect
Pakistan’s first female architect, Yasmeen Lari, designed the OctaGreen Shelter to provide housing following earthquakes. Photo: Supplied

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, humanitarian efforts were beset by an unexpected problem. Aluminium tent frames built for refugees were being stolen and resold. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban helped solve the problem by using a material with similar structural properties, but no resale value – paper tubes. A year later, when the Kobe earthquake struck, Ban once again showed the material’s versatility. Since then he has become humanitarian aid’s poster boy.

“The original deployment of paper tubes was quite brilliant,” says US architect and disaster relief expert Eric J. Cesal, special projects director for non-profit Curry Stone Foundation. “But there’s a lot of circumstances where tubes don’t make any sense. We have to think of disaster reconstruction more holistically. The design community is perpetually obsessed with finding some…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s