Haiti Ideas Challenge

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), and Howard University's, School of Architecture and Design, held a two-stage Ideas Challenge, focusing on providing permanent solutions to the rebuilding of infrastructure, cities, neighborhoods and structures for residents of Haiti affected by the recent catastrophic natural disaster.

Students and emerging professionals (recently graduated students or interns, within 5 years of graduation) in the design disciplines (architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and beyond) will propose solutions for review by a professional jury.

Identified exemplars will be distributed for review and comment by a jury of Haitian government officials, members of the United States State Department and other key groups involved in Haiti’s rebuilding efforts.

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Disaster Assistance Faculty Programs

  • Clemson University: The project modifies the surplus of shipping containers at ports into homes providing the emergency home and garden to families left homeless during these catastrophes. A key element of the design is that this emergency shelter over time becomes a permanent home. The project is humanitarian and environmental. While it gives a roof to people in need, it re purposes the abundant and empty structurally sound containers abandoned at so many ports. Port-au-Prince in Haiti is one of such ports and it is in great need right now and into the future! For more information on the Seed project, visit the project's website at http://www.seedcontainerhousing.net 
    Contact: Martha Skinner, skinnermartha@gmail.com

  • Harvard University: Architectural non-profit, MASS group (www.mass-group.org), started a few years ago by students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. We are currently involved with several projects in Africa, focused on long term, sustainable community based development projects that focus on how good design can affect positive social change. We are currently working with Partners in Health on a hospital in northern Rwanda and are in touch with them regarding how to help in Haiti, as they are one of the most prominent aid groups that has worked in Haiti for over 20 years.  
  • Howard University: Housing design, development and master planning. Contact: Alexandra Stroud, astroud@rcn.com 
  • Iowa State University: The Bridge Studio - affordable, sustainable housing and urban development,http://bridgestudio.design.iastate.edu. Global Service Learning and Community Engagement - interdisciplinary program in disaster relief for architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and interior design. Contact for both: Nadia M. Anderson, nanderso@iastate.edu
  • Kent State: Urban design, urban landscape & planning. Contact: Chuck Graves, Associate Professor, Urban Design cgraves@kent.edu

  • Morgan State University: Design/Construction Studio aimed at prefabricating an elementary school for Cayes des Jacmel, Haiti. The school will be constructed using shipping containers from the Baltimore Harbor and will be shipped to Haiti this fall. Contact: Michael Zebrowski, Lecturer, BSAED,michael.zebrowski@morgan.edu.
  • Portland State University: Disaster relief for the UN. BASICInitiative.org. Contact: Sergio Palleroni. sergiop@pdx.edu
  • University at Buffalo: Research on state of the art emergency shelters (immediate deployment, short time use) and transitional housing (2 months-2 years prior to permanent resettlement, or as core for permanent house). Studio work that explored both types of housing. In the first project, students built a full-scale emergency shelter. www.ap.buffalo.edu/idea/idg 
    Contact: Edward Steinfeld, arced@buffalo.edu

  • University of Edinburgh: Use of fabric as formwork for concrete. This has potential for self build reinforced concrete without great skill in carpentry, Also many fabrics can be used making it a low cost process for walls etc. we have experience in running workshops in this technology. www.fabricformedconcrete.ed.ac.uk, www.fabricforming.org, www.umanitoba.ca/cast_building
    Contact: Remo Pedreschi, Professor of Architectural Technology, r.pedreschi@ed.ac.uk

  • Universiteit Gent: Low cost housing research. We are currently in the process of developing a low-cost seismic and hurricane proof house that incorporates construction waste materials such as concrete debris, with applications in disaster struck areas such as Haiti.
    Contact: Steven Van Dessel, steven.vandessel@ugent.be