Integrating Shelter Design and Disaster Education in Architectural Curriculum

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Education of the public is greatly important in order to change the approach to disasters from reactive to preventative. However, this does not eliminate the need to constantly upgrade and improve the designs of disaster-relief structures. Disaster-relief shelters are crucial to the post-disaster rescue and recovery as millions of people are affected by various catastrophes which have only increased over the years. Architects and engineers can contribute greatly to the education of society about shelter design strategies for various disasters. This paper focuses on earthquakes, floods, megafires and hurricanes, and the potential design response to counter each of them. Design solutions based on modularity and deployability are reasonable considering the benefits of compactness, ease of storage, transportation, and reuse. A series of prototype designs are presented to illustrate their design features and efficiency. The paper also discusses how an architectural curriculum may be enhanced by infusing service-learning and real-world opportunities by including studios and seminars on disaster-relief shelter design and education. They may be offered to students in architecture, urban planning, social work, education and allied disciplines. The outcome of these courses may be developed as educational aids for use in schools, local communities and for the general public in order to help with the understanding of local conditions, potential disasters, design strategies and prototype shelter designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019


  • Architectural education
  • Community
  • Deployability
  • Disaster-relief
  • Modularity
  • Service-learning
  • Shelter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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