Research Trip, Haiti Now Studio


Vendors and shoppers along the Grand Rue in downtown Port-au-Prince.

The Now Institute and the Haiti Now studio, led by Distinguished Professor Thom Mayne and Now Institute Director Eui-Sung Yi, traveled to Haiti from November 2 – 7 to discover what native resources can be employed as an engine and authenticator of the rebuilding effort following the January 2010 earthquake.

View from one of Haiti’s many mountains. An abandoned rum factory, now the site of an informal rock quarry.

The itinerary included visits to significant sites in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel, meetings with various distinguished local partners and the opportunity to absorb and enjoy the nation’s rich culture. The Institute was privileged with meeting with representatives across many sectors, including architects, government officials, university administrators, artists, curators, filmmakers, musicians, NGO’s, entrepreneurs and students.

Memorable sculptures conveying religious and pop culture sentiment at the Atis Rezistans workshop.

A.UD students, Now Institute staff, and local guides at the Atis Rezistans. 

The outcome of the trip was the affirmation of cultural development as an approach that recognizes and respects local identity while encouraging the development of regionally-appropriate industries for long-term economic and social growth. The fortification of culture also yields the opportunity for coupling it with strategically identified issues, including education and literacy, migration of the educated class and the difficult negotiation between environmental impact and sustainability.

The studio looks forward to exploring the role of culture in the reconstruction and community resilience in the coming months.

Students: Arutyun Nazaryan, Brian Barnes, Chinh Nguyen, Daniel Oprea, Jonathon Burton, Marie Trabold, Seung Song, Weitao Fong, James Janke.

Abandoned car serves as landmark for a private home along the country road to Jacmel. 

Students discuss their observations with Distinguished Professor Thom Mayne, after visiting a school and health clinic in Wharf Jeremie. 

Learning about reconstruction efforts from professors at UEH (Université d'Etat d'Haïti).