Creating Resilient Communities in War and Disaster

About Open Architecture Collaborative Boston

Design has the power to improve the world. Open Architecture Collaborative Boston serves communities in need by producing architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. If you’re looking for a pro-bono challenge or a hands-on design opportunity for your resume, this may be the committee for you. You need not have design experience to get involved.  

About Build Health International

Build Health International (BHI) develops high-quality healthcare infrastructure in low resource regions of the world to enable the provision of dignified care to those who need it most. BHI delivers with an integrated approach that balances design, implementation and long-term sustainability. With an experienced staff of global health experts, engineers, architects, and construction managers, we oversee planning, design, procurement, shipping, construction, and maintenance of facilities for our international nonprofit partners. Our process is based off continuously evaluating ourselves to learn from what we have done and apply those lessons in the future. 

About Resilient SEE

Resilient SEE is a global alliance committed to designing and rebuilding a resilient, sustainable Puerto Rico. Together, we’re creating opportunities for Puerto Rico to recover and thrive through thoughtful design and strategic planning. We’re donating our time and resources to raise global awareness about resilience, and to develop pilot programs aimed at protecting the island from future extreme weather events. We’re using our core areas of expertise – economic development, climate justice policy, social science, and the built environment – to address four of the most critical needs Puerto Ricans are facing: energy, health, housing and education.

About Syrian Initiative for Refugee Children

In recognition of the growing human migration and displacement due to violence, famine and persecution, and in anticipation of the foreseeable migration of climate refugees, globally, nationally and to the New England area, the Syrian Initiative for Refugee Children was established in 2016. Beyond the current trauma of forced displacement, the Initiative anticipates the future migration of ‘climate’ refugees—those people whose communities will face the impacts of sea level rise, flooding, droughts and destruction caused by a changing climate. 

This is a new model of transnational, cross-sector collaboration to design and build spaces that address the needs of the most vulnerable: children. It began as collaboration between members of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA). Our goal is to create immediate social impact through the design and construction of safe places for play and learning for children while also empowering the local populations. Critical to our mission is to develop a process and a product that is replicable and scalable. 

The goal is to also provide opportunity for students and faculty to develop research initiatives that lead to “hands-on” concrete actions: the development of means to meet with and understand these communities in person and digitally, to assess needs for small projects focused on children, to present the material collaboratively across disciplines and cultures and to collaboratively design and develop projects with colleagues and peers from the local communities.

Image courtesy of Layal Merhi.