Never has the demand been so urgent for architects to respond to the design and planning challenges of rebuilding post-disaster sites and cities.
In 2011, more people were displaced by natural disasters (42 million) rather than by wars and armed conflicts. And yet the number of architects equipped to deal with rebuilding the aftermath of these floods, fires, earthquake, typhoons and tsunamis is chronically short.
HARB is the first university-based research group in the Asia-Pacific region to focus on the role and capacity of built environment professionals after disaster. The unique part that architects and built environment professionals can play in post-disaster contexts is that they can offer an integrated response to the crisis. Yet, the skills and potential ‘value add’ of architects has not been successfully captured in many major post-disaster reconstruction efforts to date.
The aim of HARB is to promote interdisciplinary research on humanitarian design that focuses on the contributions that that the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, project management and planning, can make to communities experiencing extreme poverty, displacement by natural disasters and conflict, and/or the increasing impacts of climate change. While HARB will be sited within the School of Architecture and Design, it has already built substantive links with senior researchers in the Schools of PCPM, Media/Comm and GUSS.
- Research: To generate new knowledge about the opportunities, contexts, processes and global impacts of humanitarian architecture
- Professional Practice: To enrich reflective practice within the field of humanitarian architecture through undertaking design-based projects in the emergency and development fields
- Outreach: To promote understanding of the field of humanitarian architecture within the built environment professions through a program of publications and outreach
- Design Education: To identify ways in which design education may be enriched through the integration of humanitarian architecture issues in the curriculum for built environment courses.