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It's all about the tools and the process!
"Design thinking" linked to a disaster relief project starts by formulating and answering some key questions:
- What are some of the important features that should be incorporated into a sustainable house design?
- Where will the students' disaster housing designs be located?
- How would factors such as the culture, economy, environment, and geology of the disaster area influence the design of the replacement housing?
- What are the key green design principles that should be considered when designing a sustainable home for disaster relief?
- What are the key structural elements that make a building structure stable and secure against the forces of nature?
- What are the key design factors that need to be addressed if the home developed for disaster relief has to be mass-produced, shipped, and assembled at locations throughout the world?
- Has a budget been established for the project?
- What is your schedule for completion?
- What inspires you about this project?
For the Disaster Relief Housing project, students can choose to closely align their work with the parameters that Alex Hammel presents in the videos. They can also use the process as a framework to design all sorts of structures using green building practices. Maybe their interest is more aligned with quick deployment structures that can be used to deliver health care or radically different approach to an RV. The bottom line is this: If students can expand and enhance their ability to combine the innovation capabilities of the software and the power of the design thinking process, then the goals of this curriculum have been achieved.
Design considerations used in the example project are as follows:
- Purpose: To design an affordable, sustainable, and attractive housing structure for disaster victims that can be efficiently and quickly assembled.
- Location: A disaster site such as post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans or post-tsunami Japan.
- Target audience: Individuals and families that have lost homes as a consequence of disaster.
- Size limitations: 1,500 square feet
- Materials to be used: Appropriate to the design and structural needs; recycled where possible.
- Scheduling requirements: 6 to 10 hours to complete all seven design phases.
- Budget constraints: $60,000.00 US
- Building code and zoning restrictions: All applicable codes for the disaster locale.