Retreat vs Rebuild Colloquium

Friday, April 21, 2017 | Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, MA

Land issues are embedded in disasters. Land stands at the center of disaster relief and recovery, whether disasters result from weather-related or geological phenomena or are the result of human conflict.

As a spatial practice recovery models prioritize resettling affected populations on land that is often proven vulnerable. If greater resilience is an ambition of humanitarian actors, then rebuilding in place might not always be a viable activity. Evacuation and retreat must become serious long-term considerations.

This colloquium brings into view the necessarily fluid effects that disasters have on the land and the humanitarian action that unfolds in response, with the aim of furthering the necessary collaboration between humanitarians and designers and opens an essential dialogue on the study and scholarship of disaster.