Jan '05 - Jan '07
Or Ghetto vs Vernacular, the latter disqualified in absence
The disaster made by the floods this last month cannot be described. And now, after nature had it's way, human are making the damage worse.
I'm not sure about the number of destroied houses but there are over 1000. Some villages must be almost entirely rebuild.
After visiting the site or just watching the news several students and younger teachers from our school wanted to do something about it, to help more then just by donating money, food, clothes. Not passive but active help. I kept on thinking about ”˜design like you give a damn'.
One of the main ideas was to make the compulsory internship (every summer all students have to make 2 weeks of ”˜internship' - either by working at a firm, or by attending special trips, workshops) in the affected region. Our help could have been various: from studies, to design, to physical work. I think our presence would have been welcome.
The other idea was to study vernacular houses in this region and propose new, cheap designs in our short term projects (each study year you have a 1 week project ).
I think this project would have been very interesting for both parts: the people would have had the chance to choose, to get some help, to be heard. We, the students and teachers, would have worked together, animated by a very strong impulse, eager to help. The collaboration would have been a better one, I think, and the fact that you are working on a real project means stimulation.
Now, you might have noticed that I spoke in past tense (or, better said, I tried to speak in past tense).
At first the initiative failed at our very own school. Someone would have had to take charge. The ones in power to do it, rejected it with very vague reasons (impossible because of the bureaucracy, bla bla bla). Of course, no one would admit rejecting this proposal, it is always someone else's fault.
Some of our younger teacher went to the administration in charge of the recovery of the villages, offering our humble help. They didn't even thought about it, saying things have already been arranged by the government. With other words they are re-building the region with a program called ANL (national agency for housing). They have 1 design for a 1 room house, 4 designs - 2 rooms house, 2 designs - 3 rooms house, 1 design - 4 rooms house. With other words they are bulding ghettos, suburbs, neighbourhoods. Cold, nonpersonal, rigid, steril, sick, artificial are just few words that come to my mind. Nothing will remember the vernacular.
The facts are so absurd that I can't even comment upon them.