5 days later

On 27 August 2017, Hurricane Harvey hits Houston as the perfect storm. For decades, an acute deregulatory climate in one of America’s fastest growing cities had led to sprawling high-risk settlements and poor resiliency investment. Rampant development in flood prone territories had been inflated by systematic underestimation of risk by flood mapping and weather agencies. Harvey was the third storm in three years with a supposedly 0.2% chance to hit Houston. The result of this high-risk urbanism and a blissfully ignorant approach to climate change and infrastructure is one of the worst urban disasters in a generation.

At the moment when urgent action and consensus is most needed, the country’s lethargic and contentious political climate has made top-down approaches unreliable. Instead, agility, ingenuity, and responsiveness on the ground are key to rebuilding and preparing for the inevitable, next crisis. Five Days Later returns to the events of Hurricane Harvey through five allegorized days. On each day, participants receive a new brief based on the successive failures and crises as the storm progresses, from its nascent stage as a wave off the coast of Africa to the aftermath of a city in ruins. The goal of the workshop is to engage both temporal and spatial complexities of hazard mitigation and to catalyze the speed at which design generates response. The workshop aims to discover new forms of emergency design, ingenious infrastructures, and urgent techniques that can mobilize designers in an age of crisis.

by Henry Ng & Isaiah Miller

1st master – in collaboration with: Lardon Sofie, Clément Sophie, Schellekens Bo, Gheys Lauren, Hauspie Griet, Maussen Eva, Paynjon Lauren, Vandekerkhove Robrecht, Faes Robin, Duwyn Lennart, Bachem Fabiana, Ovsepian Gevorg, Brekelmans Lars

Re-ACT by design is the theme of an annual series of international workshop weeks for master students architecture, interior architecture, product development, heritage studies, and urbanism and spatial planning of the Faculty of Design Sciences at the University of Antwerp.

The aim of the international workshop week is to explore the power and capacity of design to tackle those lines of fracture and socially engage by design. Beyond re-search by design, students and tutors re-act by design.

How can design education not only address students, but also address those lines of fracture, and induce debates, provoke questions, and set an agenda?

The International Design Workshop week is open to radical pedagogical experiences, which open the eyes, change sides and widen thinking. It stimulates crossing disciplinary boundaries. The week is jointly curated by a team of students and faculty. It provides a forum for international exchange; simultaneously, it is an informal platform for discussing design education and its agency. The first edition addressed the condition of displacement. The 2018 edition will addressed resilience.