Monday, October 12, 2009

Designer Village Challenge 2009

The destruction caused by natural disasters such as typhoons has long been one of the major contributors to the perpetuation of poverty in developing countries like the Philippines. The suffering of the poor are amplified as climate change - reinforced storms lead to loss of life and property, and a costly halt in their way of life. They are plunged deeper into poverty when they are faced with the economic burden of having to rebuild their homes and livelihood. Many have been forced to relocate to urban centers, further congesting and expanding informal settlements. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, the Philippines is one of the ten most afflicted countries in the world in terms of the number of lives and property lost as a result of damage due to climate, and these are mainly in the form of increasing intensities of typhoons visiting the islands annually. In short, poverty and the lack of climate adaptability has proven to be a treacherous formula for poor communities.

Current mitigation and disaster management strategies are simply insufficient to shield the poor from the onslaught of the changing climate. Building disaster-resistant structures ahead of time would drastically reduce the impact of climate on poverty, bringing an end to the viscous cycle of: disaster – destruction – reconstruction. Moreover, the sense of security brought about by disaster-resistant structures would empower communities to uplift the quality of their lives as they gain more control over it. Without the fear that a storm can easily wipe away the lives that they have built, hopes and plans for the future may grow clearer and within reach.

This competition responds to the urgent need for radical adaptation. Designer Village Challenge calls for a masterplan and design of an eco-agro-tourism development for a rural community in the tropical hotspot of Camarines Sur, Philippines, a province that has repeatedly experienced catastrophic damage caused by strong tropical cyclones. The province of Camarines Sur has made it their mission to rise above it with progressive and pioneering projects that seek to alleviate the condition of its people. With the help of the global architecture community it believes that it can be an example of strength, resilience and innovative adaptability.

The top 3 winning designs will be awarded US $ 10,000, US $ 5,000 and US $ 3,000 respectively. The 1st prize winning design will be built by the Provincial Government in Camarines Sur as a prototype master planned community of 150 houses. Gawad Kalinga, the largest and most active non-government slum upgrading and rural community builders in Asia shall also build one of the winning designs. In addition, all design entries will be compiled and published into an encyclopedia of architecture and planning solutions for climate adaptability. The United Architects of the Philippines shall facilitate the competition and function as its secretariat.

The competition is open to all local and international architects, registered according to the relevant laws in their respective countries. All entrants are required to provide relevant professional registration on the registration form. Where an entry is made by a team of professionals, the team must be led by a person meeting the above criteria. That member must be indicated on the registration form as the entrant.


United Architects of the Philippines
53 Scout Rallos Street, Diliman, Quezon City
Telephone (63-2) 4126364, (63-2) 4126374
Fax (63-2) 3721796


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