Studio Fahad has recently entered a competition in collaboration with Diana Benjumea and Michael Kent. Diana is a PhD student at The University of Nottingham. Diana has been involved in several developmental projects focused on communities highly exposed to natural disasters in Colombia. Michael is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Berkeley SINGBEARS research group Singapore.

We will look to produce a design response for resilience to any stage of a disaster risk management cycle – that focuses on either mitigation or recovery. The competition cannot be named due to anonymity required.

The location we have identified is Columbia, Medellin where we will look to showcase ideas of how our resilient design can support the informal neighbourhood of Villatina.

Villatina is located to the north-west of comuna 8 (sector 8). This neighbourhood was considered one of the most violent areas in Medellin between 1900 and 2010; it is also among the most exposed areas to natural disasters with serious problems of structural deterioration (i.e., landslides). The history of disasters in Villatina dates from 1987 after a landslide took more than 500 lives and affected thousands of families. This event recognised as one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in Colombia was worsened by the extreme wave of violence between 1990 and 2010 by gang war’s (lead by Pablo Escobar) and the urban rebel groups. This resulted in Villatina becoming one of the most dangerous informal settlements in Medellin and Colombia.

We will focus on the following key factors in our design response:

  • A community-led approach that allows residents to manage and participate in the process (self-management)
  • Enhance local skills and capacities (i.e., local knowledge and leadership) – Villatina has a strong history of activism, therefore, key leaders will be integrated in the process.

Diana’s local knowledge and hands-on research will help inform the programme.

Updates will be added once available