Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Human-centered Design

Refugee Camp Shelter/Structure, Is it architecture?
Is it Architecture? Which is better?  What makes it better?
I am documenting the photos of different refugee shelters from various countries. The last video shows the shelter designed by architect.

1- Dedaab Refugee camp Structure.
This is a sad narrative of the temporary structures.  They are as shown in the photos, made by plastic sheets and tins and clothes. There are dried branches as walls. Want to know more about the shelters and people living in them, please read the book, "City of Thorns" by Ben Rawlence.
It seems like the largest refugee camp, Dedaab in Kenya, where the approx. 400,000 refugees live with the fictional dream which are difficult to sustain after more than 20 years. They are not allowed to work and earn, as well as they are not allowed to leave the camp so they live in those temporary structures for 10 to 20 years. Check out the tents made from whatever materials available to them.

An Aerial view of one of the camps at Dadaab, Kenya; credit B.Bannon, UNHCR
2- Container Shelter

Syrian refugees are moved to these sturdier houses made from container boxes. These are Syria but towards the border of Turkey

Syrian Refugees transferred to containers shelter Credit-

Credit- Kilis, a refugee camp in Turkey near the Syrian border. 
CreditTobias Hutzler for The New York Times

Bakka Camp in Lebanon credit- Dubai Media Office

Bakka Valley, Credit
3-Better Shelter by IKEA in Europe for Refugees

IKEA Foundation along with Swiss architects came up with the best solution. This structure is durable and easy to install, costs $1000, but of course these are shipped in Europe.Check out the video below.
IKEA Shelter equipped withinsulated and sturdy panels plus solar powered LED light which can give electricity for few hours in the night for reading
Check out the video below-


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bold Colors for Museums in San Jose and a Painted village in Mexico.

Bold Colored Children Discovery Museum and The Tech Museum , San Jose.
These both bold colored buildings are the landmark Buildings in San Jose Downtown. It is a focal point for many cultural activities and melts well with the fabric of the city and local community. Both are designed by Internationally well known architect, Ricardo Legorreta, known for the bold-colored splashed walls. They are in my radar and can be seen from different highways. People can enjoy them from different vantage points, driving around and also from walking around the area. Locals also view their colors and shapes from up above the buildings around, while dining on the terraces of the restaurants. See below -
Children Discovery Museum, San Jose, CA
The Tech Innovation Museum, San Jose, Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
Colors used as a solution and a strategy to intervene into the community.

Rainbow painted village Pachuca in Mexico
This project is a perfect example of improvement of the urban and social environment by collaboration of government, community and youth. It created  a largest mural project by just painting houses with bright colors. Check the photo below and for more details go to those both links below. 
Painted village through community effort.Credit- Photograph: Sofia Jaramillo/AP

Monday, January 11, 2016

Colors - a tool for problem solving!

Color has been an ongoing topic on my blog. Every kid smiles seeing a rainbow in the sky and brightly colored ladybugs in the soil. Colors are everywhere and everyone sees colors differently. Dogs see only four colors and do not see reds and Butterfly see more colors than human. I do not know how dogs and butterfly feel when they see colors. but I see the color and my eyes flutter and my heart beats little louder which I could hear. I see them in nature and I see them in our environment.

Way-Finding and Landmark

Each one sees the colors differently and also perceives differently. The correct use of color at the right place can help solve some problems which can improve our daily life. Here I am talking about the color improved my few driving moments. See the photos below; which made me think.
While stopping at the traffic light from Highway 280 to San Jose downtown, I see the dark space under bridge and suddenly saw circles of dark blue sky wandering on the concrete walls. It even inspired me do this doodle. See below.
'under the overpass bridge'
Having FUN by Doodling!
Now I remember that exit and do not mind to stop at Red light there. This could have been applied at few other places, specifically driving in San francisco, while passing long underpass bridges as well as walking under those parking spaces. It would be great if the City planners or urban designers could have some LED lights installed or collaborate with artists to show their work under those concrete surfaces. It would be helpful to remember specific spots. It might make us look up at sky too. :)., away from our phone screen.  Well, here is the photo of my idea. All these ideas are flying through in my mind because the residence I am designing has this tall concrete retaining wall and the client does not find much beauty in the concrete wall. So I was thinking of alternate ways to enhance it.

Idea of LED  under the over bridge -San Francisco