By Caroline Marrie
Today, the AIA's Architects Foundation unveiled details about the past and future of its National Resilience Initiative (NRI), a network of university-based design studios that provide architectural services to communities and share best practices for preparing for natural disasters. The report, titled “In Flux: Community Design for Change, Chance and Opportunity,” outlines the work of the NRI’s three inaugural studios: the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Center for Resilient Design in Newark, New Jersey; the University of Arkansas Community Design Center at the Fay Jones School of Architecture in Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Mississippi State University's Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Three additional studios, located in the west, the mid-Atlantic, and the upper Midwest regions of the U.S., will be announced in March 2016.
The report includes case studies of projects completed by the three studios, including the construction of houses for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the study of microgrids, and the development of an urban food production system. It debuted at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which made the NRI, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, a Commitment to Action, a plan to tackle a global issue, in 2013.
In addition to the expansion of the studio network, the NRI plans to access AIA's membership network for assistance in informing policy and building codes at national, state, and local levels to promote resilient design. It will also develop a curriculum for students and practicing architects to learn about resiliency.
Read the full report here.
This article was originally published in ARCHITECT September 2015
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