“Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed.”
— President Rene Preval of Haiti
In the wake of the Port-au-Prince earthquake, Haitians have sustained an immense loss of life, with numbers still climbing, and the collapse of physical structures signifying the collapse of the governmental, social, economic, and infrastructural institutions those structures housed and represented. Many of those institutions and infrastructures were weak before the quake, as Haiti is among the world’s poorest nations, reliant on international aid and subject to severe economic disparity.
This earthquake was no typical disaster, and Haiti is no typical disaster-struck region. In many ways, Port-au-Prince and its institutions required rebuilding before the buildings collapsed. The relief effort of this particular disaster goes beyond air-dropping supplies and building emergency housing. Haiti also requires an emergency economic system (the banks and tax office have collapsed), an emergency medical system (hospitals have collapsed), an emergency justice system (courthouses and the federal prison have collapsed), emergency education (schools have collapsed), and an emergency government (the parliament and many ministry buildings have collapsed). People talk about emergency shelter. What about emergency institutions, only one of which is housing?
Participants in February’s Spontaneous Architecture competition are invited to take this question seriously, enacting a response onto the site included below. The site includes multiple institutions and social, economic, and governmental infrastructures as well as residential areas and open space parks currently being used as campsites for those in need of housing. Participants are asked to consider one or all of the institutions present and can operate on the entire site or a specific portion thereof. Responses can be strategic, organizational, institutional, and/or architectural.
Submissions are single images, formatted in 8.5 inches by 11 inches (landscape), 300dpi tiffs. Images must be anonymous, containing no identication of their creators. Submissions may (but are not required to) include up to 100 words of text. All submissions are due by 11:59PM on 15 February 2010.
Participate to Donate. As always, the winner of February’s Spontaneous Architecture competition will receive fifty percent of the entry fees collected from the month’s submissions. This month, the remaining portion of the entry fees will be donated to the Haitian relief effort.
ALSO: With the announcement of February’s Spontaneous Architecture competition brief, we would like to announce a new partner in the Spontaneous Architecture project. GOOD Magazine is now joining PRE-Office and Studio-X in this endeavor for the rest of 2010.
Register by: 02-15-2010 / Submit by: 02-15-2010