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17 April 2017

Exhibition 3.5 Square Meters: Constructive Responses to Natural Disasters

We visited another superb exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in The Agnes and Benny Steinmetz Wing for Architecture and Design Gallery 3 in the Herta and Paul Amir Building.  I cannot praise it enough.  We spent over three hours totally engrossed in this exhibition.  It was educational, interesting and inspirational. The exhibition is named after the minimum standard of 3.5 square meters per each person in a shelter (as determined by the Red Cross).  It was a broad exhibition in that it tackled many different aspects of humanitarian work and explored how technology, architecture and clever design ideas can help alleviate human suffering in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters.  Here are some highlights from the exhibition:

 Emergency Preparedness Hubs or PREPHubs designed by MIT School of Architecture and Planning
 "PREPHubs serve as interactive architectural structures following a natural disaster, they are transformed into meeting and recovery sites for the distribution of goods and services needed during emergency scenarios.  For example, benches provide a cache of medical supplies, a neighborhood map illiminates evacuation routes, and a pedal powered phone charger serves as a micro off-grid generator."


A PREPHub
http://urbanrisklab.org/ 

Home-for-All designed by Japanese Architects
Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata is an architectural concept which was initiated by five Japanese architects following the tsunami in 2011. "Rikuzentakata is a city in located in the Iwate Prefecture.  Local residents requested an observation platform from which they could watch the reconstruction of the city.  The team decided to use local wood from Kesen Cedar trees, which had died due to their exposure to salt water, in the hope that this Home-for-All would become a symbol of recovery from disaster."

Home-for-All explanatory information
Home-for-All design plans and interior

Twitter USGS: Earthquake Social, Since 2009
"The US Geological Survey has been operating a real -time system with crowd-sourced tweets as the only input to rapidly detect, locate and assess the impact of earthquakes felt worldwide.  The system gathers tweets with the word "earthquake" or its translation in several languages using publicly available tools provided by Twitter.  Tweets can also be automatically scanned for words indicative of damage and mapped to estimate the spatial extent of the shaken region."
 
Twitter Detections marked in red dots


A Home Away from Home, Since 2010 Better Shelter
 "Better Shelter is a humanitarian innovation project and social enterprise based in Sweden.  The project team designs and develops modular temporary shelters for persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters, with the aim of improving their lives by providing them with a safer and more dignified home away from home.  Its robust steel frame is clad with vertical, semi-hard walls, four windows, a high ceiling and a door that can be locked.  A solar-powered lamp provides light and includes a USB port for charging electronic devices.  The shelter is designed to last for three years and is suitable for situation where local materials or construction workers are in short supply, with the additional value of preventing deforestation."



http://www.bettershelter.org/ 


MyShake app developed by researchers at UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and the Deutsche Telekom Silicon Valley Innovation Center
 "MyShake app runs 'silently' in the background of the phone using very little power - just like step-tracking fitness apps.The app itself has an integrated neural network, designed to separate sensor readings that represent normal human activities from those that look more like earthquakes.  When the shaking fits the vibrational profile of a quake, the app sends the anonymous information to a central system, where it is aggregated with the information from other users."


 http://myshake.berkeley.edu/


 Earthquake Desk, 2016 Ido Bruno and Arthur Brutter
The Earthquake Desk was designed to provide a solution by offering both protective coverage and passageways for rescue-team accessibility.  It can withstand vertical loads of up to one ton dropped from a height of 3.5 meters, thus providing resistance to significantly stronger impact than a common school desk.  The research is conducted through the RDFD (Relevant Design for Disaster) research group at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem.





Disaster Preparedness Open Online Course, since 2013 with Dr Michael Beach
 In 2013, Dr Michael Beach and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education developed a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on the Coursera platform, titled Disaster Preparedness.  The purpose of the course was to reach people worldwide and provide them with information and practical ways to prepare themselves for a disaster.
 https://www.coursera.org/learn/disaster-preparedness


3.5 Square Meters: Constructive Responses to Natural Disasters Exhibition can be seen at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art 
until 9th September 2017.
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