Resilient Design Guidelines




Through the recognition that we are designers at the beginning of the day, analysis of this kind is not only difficult but expands and humbles our horizons. We are not creatures of abstract thoughts without the end goal of physical creations-- we are makers deep within our soul and it has become an identity-- this doesn’t exclude factors outside of buildings. In the face of constant change, migration is at it’s peak in shift; the fact that it will become a constant for coming generations, this is our new normal. The incessant political and personal fear that anyone different than us could be a threat, that we only imagine what others seeking freedom as an asylee are facing. We all are aware of the issues, but it is like others, we look and skim news and then alternatively pass through the difficult ones and go on with our day. We are not deniers of what is happening as a public, but in many ways, we cope differently and most of the time along a negative fashion in the face of recognizing that we will never solve the issue and would rather ignore it, honestly. Several global issues are involved with this kind of denial. 

Recognizing that mass migration, specifically along the lines of a crisis, we are drenched in issues far outside of design. Today, many qualified precedents can serve as an architectural solution for refugees, migration and displacement. 

The global point in question is in fact not an architectural problem to begin with, but the knowledge that internal issues are creating prevention of goods in order to find equitable disbursement. For an umbrella term let’s recognize that any individual experiencing migration and displacement is considered in a state of dislocation. Along many organizations, governments and individuals this issue is logistical; (a) the passing of goods, (b) analysis collection, (c) parallels of product and process, (d) economic fluidity, (e) urban density, and this all is coupled with the timing of a changing climate.

The creation of this Design Guideline is not held to designers, the case that it is not a building problem to begin with provides room for valued solutions with interdisciplinary results. Being able to pivot change within the realm of acceptance that migration and urbanism will not disappear in the future, our ability for innovation is necessary. This guideline is also in efforts to provide access to those that visibly needs it and also for the standing of prevention. We also are present in current critiques for existing projects as well as manifestations. These critiques come with quality and humbleness, we don’t know everything and we shouldn’t but changing the standard is important and we should be aware of fellow designers and their intentions. Through contemplative thorough research, we have not only been able to come to the surface with valuable information but also become critical of our own profession and the processes that occur in the event of a crisis. This kind of analysis provides the ability to find issues in what already occurs and bridge cracks in some of the most renowned organizations that specialize and spent decades analyzing these events. We might be ignorant in our knowledge but what we see even though vague, can also be what an organization’s own critique of themselves might look like. It is also important to note that assumptions will be made, several, we are here to find an opportunity that might be beyond not only our education but also capacity currently, and that’s okay. Our assumptions might be outrageous, ignorant or thoughtful-- we are asking for grace with our critiques and assumptions. This is a guideline for thinkers, feelers and the quizzical mind; for those who want to stop ignoring the news and start changing the way we process information even if it doesn’t materialize into physical space.


Mission: A shelter a moment in which immediate alleviation in a crisis can begin; safety being a solution in times of extreme stress.

Thoughts on extreme stress develop in a method of ways, all have felt it, the pressure to either do something or helplessness in a moment. We are capable of feeling deeply, but the kind of crisis we are talking about is unthinkable for the privileged (including us). As designers, it is in agreeance that reiteration is the labor of our creations; redoing, rethinking, restarting, reinventing. Stretching these boundaries of creative thinking especially is challenges what the aim is.


The climactic analysis of each location of an emergency is in variation, and we are acknowledging this but also facing the potential that each space can have the same foundational emergency shelter regardless of these differences. The Kit 2 (K2) is what respond to the actual climate, knowing that the foundation isn’t all that is needed for an emergency, and that some areas will need more in terms of shelter than others. This is an opportunity for time release and control. We also see an opportunity in knowing that these issues are not going to go away over time, if anything they need to be address as soon as possible because they are going to only become larger than what we can control. Migration is a constant, and potentially the new normal especially in recognition and belief that climate change is a contributing factor. The importance of also knowing that this is a place where other designers can learn from each other and develop their own rules and creations.

Opportunities are also in line with the critiques that we are beginning to see in the field from our view and other collaborators in terms of how we approach design in general, but specifically in the case of disaster risk management. The argument that process is in many ways more important than the design, yes the shelter must have the essentials but if there isn’t an informative way to organize it’s logistics and deployment, than we have failed from the beginning.


We all have an opinion, regardless of education, thoughts, upbringings-- there is an opinion based culture when it comes to creating change; this can be in support or opposition. Nothing that is in creation will be perfect, that is why testing is a vital part of this process; albeit, we will have something. One of the most substantial and sensitive challenges for this research and development is that we do not intimately know about the topic and also have to held to it first hand, therefore we shouldn’t act like it and constantly be open to our own critique and those from others. The opportunities for changes will also not come until the product is actually tested, this is a challenge because there is a need for fast turnover. Financial implications is also a contributor to what we need to be considering, this is in line with potential donors and also collaborators in the field of emergency aid. These kits could be projects of our own or also created in complete alignment and knowledge that we are handing them over to specialists in the field after its creation. With utmost power, logistics are a pivotal projections of every decision we are making, it is informing design and process choices. The importance of our logistics is shown in also the kits transportation and distribution; our conclusion is that these two subjects are the most powerful parts in this research. Once transportation is handled in its best way possible, distribution must be seamless and provide an opportunity for those that need it the most support. These kits also need to be culturally applicable, and being naive in some cultures, we might be interfering in a norm. We understand this and would like to provide the best framework possible to find comfort in every situation.

[Objectives + Assumptions]

These objectives are to analyze what the process begins to look like in a time where many believe that it is a product issue and that there might be little if anything that we can do in terms of fixing internal and logistical issues that occur within the process. These issues of concern are deep rooted and larger than many can perceive from the outside. To name a few some involve; internal gangs that are given power of distribution for products and then hold them as commodities, particular subjects being seen as targets because they have shelters and supplements, these areas also not being distributed in the scene of equity and priority-- the list continues.

Being able to observe these issues in a way that we can find success in changing how logistics present themselves is the case that we can identify and establish the hierarchy of goods, whether that is through time release or another formation that gives solutions for success. Each valuable intersection comes with the necessity to approach it with extreme sensitivity; this can be seen as a function but after it is all said and done, this is the humanistic form of need in its stripped down and painful atmosphere. Not many situations in the world make an individual more vulnerable than the fleeing of homeland; for those that are privileged, it is unimaginable even if we witness it first hand-- this is well established. The angle that we approach all of these issues are with the eye of a creator but also the realization that fragility is among us and only one action can truly bandage that catastrophe and it is empathy. This is why recognizing our assumptions and clearly identifying what we are assuming which is of utmost priority; without compassion we would not be doing our research correctly, and without the logistical eye, there would be no solution. 

Here are many of the assumptions being made through this research and development:

(a) That it is going to work, we truly understand and are under the impression that what we are creating is a new presentation of crisis alleviation. Our design process has positively changed through these kinds of explorations. (b) That the commonality between all locations can be address through a secondary kit of parts, this is one of the large assumptions-- that we can understand climate differences with supplements. (c) We are realizing basic needs and that they are constant across the board and in all cultures. This we know might not be the case, we are recognizing that flexibility in our structure and form might be able to form a solution in this solution. We have formed a programme that is community focused in hopes that this is a desire for all cultures. (d) That wood is a widely accepted material for all locations, being that our main framework is wood, this is an assumption. We also are using canvas and metal. This comes to another assumption (e) in the case that users want flexibility, which we are providing and maybe those in crisis want a prescription that is created and developed without the need of freedom? (f) the final assumption is that what we are doing is going to be efficient, since this is not being created and a manifestation we are exhausting our efforts in hope that it will be efficient, but wouldn’t know unless it was tested.


Testing the actual form is the most successful way to continue the process of the shelter and all creations for the future. It is valuable because we see it in action through a crisis event, and see if there is success in prevention of internal issues that we are working to address. It is the expectation that during this time of testing, the facility that is used for research will have immediate communication with those that are in the area of crisis in order to have fast turnaround of information and recreation of kits. The facility must be prepared to try again in this instance and find ways to perform in an efficient manner to find solutions to the kits that might not be working well in a specific area. 

Recently is has been shown that testing our in the field is a successful way to provide feedback, IKEA’s shelter house sent shelters for 6 months and received enough feedback to make changes in the future for their production and shelters-- this we see as a vital part of the end process and how we can develop a better understanding through our facility.


Each crisis presents itself uniquely and providing a facility that can understand the differences in issues as well as geographical understanding is valuable. These kinds of analysis’ can inform what we do, in the manner that we do them and how deployment occurs. Our goal is to not only have effective analysis but also quick development for kits that are useful in all locations (we are making the assumption that it is possible to develop a kits that is all encompassing). The importance of our efforts if to show that there is a gap between how logistics and development occur, especially in the field of emergency systems. These two items, with research, we know to be more successful in parallel if not intertwined for creation and betterment of what we design.

The analysis portion is high priority that provides a parallel lineage with shelter and logistics. Identifying the crisis and its damage is first on the list, along with financial funds and creations of gifts that could potentially be given to other organizations or our in this event (do we take the time to collaborate with other large NGOs to become specialized consultants in deployment?). This kind of analysis is under the umbrella of testing, knowing that they go hand in hand in the fact that quick action occurs after testing results are brought forth. It is important that these go closely together so that there is efficient access to the crisis.

ashley kopetzky