Jorge Fuentes, B.Arch, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, 2015

Post-Disaster Architecture: A Habitat Without Territory

Jorge Fuentes
Jorge Fuentes

A disaster can strike anywhere and anytime, leaving victims to pick up the pieces of what was once a community. You can say it strikes every aspect of people’s lives bringing destruction and suffering throughout the world. Housing is maybe one of the more affected things after a disaster strikes, that’s why I decided to design a fast response emergency relief module capable of providing an immediate response to housing needs, and evolve if a long term solution is needed. The emergency relief module adapts to its surroundings and user’s needs as a single unit response or as an inter-modular group capable of creating different programmatic spaces as part of a community reconstruction plan.

It’s not in singularity that the affected zones rebuild what has been destroyed, but in joint efforts between emergency response agencies and communities. The EMS strives to become a multiple time frame solution to rebuilding what has been destroyed. Its ability to function as a single unit or as a multiple units program creates an adaptive solution to different scale scenarios. The idea is to provide the immediate with a long term vision, allowing people a resilient option to an ever growing and unpredictable problem. We definitely can’t prevent disaster, but we can be prepared and react accordingly to provide living alternative when a place as we know it has been turned upside down. Architecture serves as a mean to not only create a city but also to rebuild a community that has been destroyed.

About the presenter:

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Jorge Ricardo Fuentes always had a soft spot for technical arts and philosophical questions. Not knowing what the future would bring he passed through high school without a clear path on what to do when he grew up. Started undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering department at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez always with a latent architectural mind peeking through his daily routines, which later resulted in a transfer to the New Architecture School at the Polytechnic University in Puerto Rico.

Deeply motivated by social science and philosophy classes, Jorge used his knowledge to explore architecture and its social impact on people. With that in mind, along with a good friend, he embarked on a fourth year project which focused on public housing in one of Puerto Rico’s most notorious public housing community, “Llorens Torres.” His interest in social architecture led him to develop his thesis project on the impact of natural disaster within a community, going from the independent individual all the way to community reconstruction within itself, focusing on long term expectations and parting from immediate provision. The rest of his architectural involvement as a future practitioner is yet to come … Follow Jorge on Facebook

Read more about AIA|DC’s Emerging Architects Committee 2015 Thesis Showcase


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