Housing & Disaster Resilience, Cedar Rapids, IA

Sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Iowa State University, College of Design
Project Leader: Nadia M. Anderson, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University
April 20-22, 2011  |  Host School: Iowa State University



This AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND DISASTER RESILIENCE project and symposium is a continuation of a grant through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) proposed to continue a project previously funded by the NEA that involved a series of coordinated peer-reviewed design projects and regional symposia to stimulate and promote innovative design strategies for affordable and mixed-income housing. In July 2009, ACSA invited faculty members, in collaboration with their university-based architecture programs, to respond to a call for qualifications to carry out the design project and regional symposium described above. Respondents outlined their experiences in the area of housing and identified potential participants in their local symposia.

Following the call, ACSA and critics reviewed the submittals and selected Nadia Anderson at Iowa State University, who won the 2009 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Grand Prize for her work on sustainable affordable housing prototypes. Building upon an earlier prototype project, Anderson documented the physical and social conditions that led to significant affordable housing impacts from severe floods in 2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The additional web-pages cover Anderson’s project documentation and research on CEDAR RAPIDS BACKGROUND & GRAPHIC ANALYSIS along with SYMPOSIUM INFORMATION & DISCUSSIONS.

The project combined two components familiar to architects, designers, and educators. First, university-based research/designer completed project analysis focused on innovations to improve the social, economic, and environmental performance of affordable and mixed-income housing. Second, the daylong symposium that took place at Iowa State University assembled a broad range of stakeholders (designers, developers, funders, city & state leaders, along with others) to discuss findings and relevant outcomes.


Kendall Nicholson
Director of Research + Information