Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan: housing, as in lack of

Maybe TV is different but online it seems like the nuclear story has gotten more play than the Japan refugee crisis, even the cold and hunger in some shelters and the dismal reports that some refugees "may be moved elsewhere" by "nonbinding request".

Via BoingBoing, here are photos by Max Hodges of housing damage and recovery. They include images from Ishinomaki Shelter, run by elementary school teachers. An example of the constructive self-help that arises in disaster, maybe, but it sounds like they need official help, especially doctors.

Further to the Japan housing recovery:

- As in several past disasters, Shigeru Ban Architects are distributing cardboard partitions, including thoughtful floor padding, to the group shelters in places like gymnasiums.

- Architecture for Humanity is working further on long-term rebuilding plans.

- The Guardian reports prefabricated housing is on the way to hard-hit areas but the cold has gotten there first.

- The cardboard housing idea brings to mind a New York City MOMA exhibit from 2005, "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk." Ideas in that exhibit are a mix: some purely conceptual, some mocking the idea of security, some quite practical designs for emergency equipment. Offered here only as food for thought.

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