Document Type



Our world is more separated now than it has ever been. We pride ourselves on the technologies that we create, and the feats that we have accomplished, but we seldom stop to think about what the implications are. More than often we design to fit what we think we “need”, however, we need to design and build to a better future.

Natural disasters have become something that designers cannot ignore anymore due to the fact that nearly one tenth of the world’s population lives in low lying coastal areas and the rising sea levels are being seen throughout the world. The technologies that we create should change focus from entertainment to reality. We need to start designing, building and doing more for mankind.

Certain people understand this more than others. That is the case for Team Rubicon, composed of veterans and first responders, the company is based out of California and dedicates its mission to helping rebuild and secure a brighter future for those that have been affected by natural disasters across the globe. This investigation studies the ways in which we could improve their methods so that they can spread more of their core values and continue helping the world where it is needed the most.

Most frequently, the answer to deal with natural disasters is to wait until one happens and then respond with relief aid as fast as we can, and for as long as we can afford it. Many scholars and businessmen alike would argue that the best and most efficient way to deal with natural disasters is to invest in preventative measures before they happen to minimize the damage to structures and the detrimental loss of human life.

The ability to build a center in another country for the organization to house volunteers is the simple answer, but ignores one of the larger problems. When disaster strikes, architects, builders, planners and politicians are far too eager to show the world that their solution is the best, many of which have never even visited the location that is now struggling with devastation. This is to say that there is very little, if any, understanding of the culture that they are designing for.

A building that encourages the volunteers to train directly within the cultures that they could be responding to will dramatically increase their ability to apply preventative measures that go parallel to the culture they are placed in. This method will also provide Team Rubicon the ability to not only help after a natural disaster has caused its damage, but also before and during its destruction.

Included in

Architecture Commons