Thom Mayne/Now Institute_SUPRASTUDIO
Researchres: Aiden Carty, Andrew Kim, Brent Nishimoto, Yang Ming, Yining Wang and Zhuoxin Fang
Jury: Robin Derby (UCLA History), Winter Schneider (UCLA History), Alan Berger (MIT DUSP), Bill Fain (Johnson Fain), Clark Stevens (New West Land Company), Warren Techentin (USC), Dana Cuff (UCLA AUD), and Greg Lynn (UCLA AUD)
Fall Final Review
What is the role of culture in reconstruction? Can planning and design infuse resilience in a community to guard against the effects of disaster?
In 2012, The Now Institute initiated Haiti Now as an intensive, cross disciplinary research and design project dedicated to contemporary urban issues and design potentials in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. The multi-year project encompasses a comprehensive critical analysis of Haitian modern history and politics, a data-driven research investigation of planning, infrastructural, and social issues, and a set of collaborative design proposals developed in concert with Haitian governing and community partners to target reconstruction through the lenses of resilience and culture. A comprehensive publication of the same name is expected in Spring 2014.
In 2013, the Mayn/Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO brought the focus of the study to Cap-Haïtien, the historical and former capital of Haiti, which has experienced dramatic growth in population and commercial activity in the past 20 years. These changes have fueled an uncontrolled growth in informal settlements and strained the capacity of the city’s roads, utilities and the ecology to meet and mitigate the burgeoning demand. As a result, the operations and locations of the city market, the quality of residential neighborhoods and access to cultural centers have diminished. According to studies by the Word Bank, the population of the city has more than doubled between 1995 and 2005 and its area has increased tenfold in forty years, from 1.22 km2 in 1960 to 12.39 km2 in 2002. The studio’s aim is to respond to these conditions and recognize Cap-Haïtien’s existing cultural and natural assets as opportunities for urban development, economic growth and community enhancement.