A Disaster Relief Framework


Disaster Relief has been traditionally thought of in the realm of temporary architecture, an architecture that must be transported and erected at the place of the disaster. With the glut of aid, the humanitarian aid response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami was 14 billion US dollars, it certainly seemed to be the easiest answer to spend much on a structure and simply built it on site once transported to be the most efficient timely answer. The failure comes in the ill consideration of the site and an appropriate and sustainable solution for a permanent shelter.


This thesis seeks to provide a solution for disaster relief that address a path from a provided transitional structure (usefulness measured in years not months) to a permanent architecture. It has also been shown that “…“transitional” may be a misnomer, since many people never leave these homes, nor are the homes upgraded.” (D’Urzo, 2010) Relief architecture has failed to anticipate needs of growth and daily life sustaining activities that go beyond the immediate need of shelter. The needs of shelter are predictable: roof, enclosure, windows, doors, etc… but there are shortfalls in considerations for expansion and needs for clean water, food storage and cooking and other life sustaining functions. This gap in the goal and reality of aiding the people will attempt to be bridged by a modular framework that provides the flexibility to grow, improve and respond to make a quicker path to their normal permanent life.


The framework will address multiple needs in negotiating the requirements of a non-permanent transitional structure. It will accept numerous infill methods, both provided and vernacular. In addition to those basics, more framework can allow the plan to grow and be adapted to the different programs of each inhabitant and different typologies altogether, from individual to community level concerns. Special attention will be given to such concerns as security, food cooking and distibution and sanitation all typically omitted in a shelter design.




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For samples of work, please look at the contact link above to send me an email request. Thank You.

Marina_Station, Debary, FL

This project was a charette of three weeks for the introduction to the graduate program and the introduction to the SunRail system.  The SunRail system is a proposed light-rail commuter system that would run along the I-4 corridor.  We were given no direction other than the train stop had to house a function aside from transportation.

For my design I looked to the location of Debary, FL.  The main draw to Debary is Lake Debary as the head of the St. John river.  It is a recreational and important infrastructural feature to the area.  I wanted to move the site for the stop to intersect with the lake and rail line.  Joining a marina and train station juxtaposed two differing transportation modes and gave a reason for people to commute to Debary.  Normally the rail line would be focused on traditional commutes of mornings going into the city and in the evening out.  With this stop there would be a reason to get on the line in Orlando and go out to Debary as the destination.

Urban_Velo, Winter Park, FL

This studio project was a park of of our semester working on ideas for the Sunrail system of Florida.  The Sunrail is a proposed light commuter rail that centers around the Orlando area and uses the existing amtrak rails and stops.

The stop and location for this project was the central park of Winter Park, FL.

The simple idea was to place a Velodrome, bicycle racing tract, in the park.  This came from an observation that there was many bicycle features not being used and the success of the local to me “Rails to Trails” paths.

The major feature was the elevation of the track.  Most Velodromes become a hinderance to movement.  With the steeply banked sides and possibility of fast moving bicycles no one would be walking across the track.  So I decided to elevate the track.

Folding Facade, Gulfport-Biloxi Airport

This semester was an exploration of hurricane resistance and digital tools as a new way to design. I choose to design a facade for the Gulfport-Biloxi Airport control tower that was damaged from Hurricane Katrina. It was damaged in a predictable way, where lifted edges an an otherwise flat facade are and at higher heights where winds are stronger.

I was influenced by ideas from Peter Jackson’s “Folding for Designers” that presented origami like folds. I choose to digitally model a folding technique that folds flat. This would be desirable so that the “shutters” could fold away or be stored that way. Also the fold has variability that could represent where there needs to be more wind resistance.

Flexible Railed Panels, Gallery Installation, Gainesville, FL

This project was from a seminar class entitled: “Materials Exploration: Assemblies and Systems”. We were challenged to pick a material we were interested in and how to stretch it’s abilities and how to combine it with other materials for assemblies or as methods of working the material.

I choose PolyCarbonate a plastic noted for it’s impact resistance and clarity, often being a glass replacement. After examining the various forms I was most fascinated with the tubes. The tubes could bend to impressive degrees without bending. To explore this I wanted to design a facade that could be flexed to any angle using the tubes as the backbone structure. Instead of an opaque facade the decision was to use a fabric that would transmit light.

AB[RAY]SION, Architecture Building, Gainesville, FL

We were tasked with redesigning the lighting of the Architecture Building as part of the Lighting Design Seminar. The newest feature of the building was the new curtain wall system that made transparent previously opaque walls. This has light implications. Also of concern was that many lights are prohibitively expensive to maintain and had undesirable quality of light.