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A book charting the development of humanitarian architecture around the world will be launched next week in Melbourne, Australia.
Humanitarian Architecture, which details 15 case studies of how architects work with communities impacted by disasters, will be launched by former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans.
It is the first of two books RMIT University's Associate Professor Esther Charlesworth has written as part of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.
The second book (co-authored with Dr Ifte Ahmed), More Than a Roof Overhead: Case Studies of housing after disaster, will be published early next year.
Associate Professor Charlesworth said the book analysed the expanding role for architects in working with disaster-affected communities, through exploring the personal and professional journeys of 15 architects working in the post-disaster sector.
“The goal of humanitarian architecture is social and physical reconstruction, involving rebuilding a damaged community and its local culture, environment and economy; not just providing a new shelter,” she said.
“What unites the architects interviewed is their collective belief that through consultation the design profession can contribute significantly to the complex post-disaster challenge of rebuilding a city and its community.”
The book examines the architects’ motivations and details projects in post-tsunami Japan, as well as Haiti, Sri Lanka and the US.
“From Pritzger prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban to the Australian architect Paul Pholeros, who works with remote Indigenous communities, these designers had very different ideas of what the term ‘humanitarian architecture’, actually means in their own practice,” Associate Professor Charlesworth said.
A researcher in RMIT’s School of Architecture and Design, Associate Professor Charlesworth is also the founding Director of Architects without Frontiers (Australia), a design not-for-profit organisation that has worked on more than 35 projects in 12 countries for vulnerable communities over the last decade.
Humanitarian Architecture - 15 Stories of Architects Working After Disaster is published by Routledge Press. It will be launched next Tuesday, 12 August.
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