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Arch403: Designing Resilient Schools

Build Academy via EdCast

This course may be unavailable.


On November 9, 2013 the devastating typhoon Haiyan hit the Phillipines, causing more than 5,000 deaths and destroying the homes and cities for millions. Natural disasters are happening more and more often due to climate change. We can’t do much to stop them, but as architects we can help with the recovery and to build shelters that would withstand them. The goal of this online course is to generate design ideas for resilient schools for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and other natural disasters. The participants in this course will design schools, which could be implemented by the Department of Education and Architecture for Humanity in the Philippines. We will engage with a team of architects, planners, engineers, and social workers. After the course, the projects and instructions will be placed on the open source platform Open Online Architecture (, so anyone can download and use them. An international jury will select the best projects, which will eventually be built. We’ll have weekly lectures and daily discussions on our forum. A team of professors, consultants, and teaching assistants led by Prof. Ivan Shumkov will guide and assist all students in their work.


Students will learn about resilient architecture and how it can be used in communities in need. They will improve their design and collaboration skills. During the second week of the course, each student will design individual proposals and post them on the forum. All students will be publish their design proposals and ask others for feedback and help on their projects. They will form collaboration teams, which will work together on developing integral projects that include aspects of architectural design, engineering, social space, community development, economical feasibility, sustainability and resilience.


Week 1: Welcome and Introduction

Week 2: Schools and Resilient Architecture

Week 3: Classroom Unit Design

Week 4: Aggregation and Site Design

Week 5: Resilient School Design

Week 7: Design Submission and Feedback 

Taught by

Ivan Shumkov


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