Resilient Design and the Adaptability of Architectural Practice

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy made clear that traditional approaches to natural disasters – after-the-fact evacuation, relief, and rebuilding – are insufficient. Conversely, “Resilient Design” pre-emptively approaches our environment as a complex adaptive system – one constructed of multiple independently behaving agents, containing both physical and social components. Planning and designing resilient buildings, cities, and regions means engaging this complexity and developing integrative strategies.

As governments and private developers begin attempting to deliver Resilient projects, it is critical for the design industry itself to also adapt. The Architect’s role in Resilient Design should not be limited to beautifying engineering solutions, but to be an integral part of a comprehensive team; incorporating problem analysis, community collaboration, and multi-scalar and multi-disciplinary approaches.

In this seminar we will explore critical questions raised by this new paradigm, such as:

  • Can we develop a role for design at the risk management table?
  • How do we bring together communities and decision makers with designers, scientists and engineers?
  • How do we link short and medium term resilience to long-term adaptation?
  • Can we link design intelligence to the economic models that make resilience possible?

Travis J. M. Bunt, AIA
One Architecture & Urbanism
New York, NY

Matthijs Bouw BNA 
One Architecture & Urbanism
New York, NY