CENDEP Shelter Conference Report 2009

Date published
01 Sep 2009
Conference, training & meeting documents
Development & humanitarian aid, Shelter and housing
Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP), Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP), Oxford Brookes University

One day conference held on Friday September 18, 2009 hosted by the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP), Oxford Brookes University and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). While natural disasters are growing and humanitarian agencies are increasingly being called upon to provide good shelter responses, the engagement of built environment professionals is surprisingly low. How can these professionals, and in particular architects, add value to post disaster shelter construction? To address this question CENDEP and the IFRC held a one day conference at Oxford Brookes University. Over 50 participants attended, from non governmental organisations (NGOs), universities, intergovernmental agencies and specialist think-tanks. Keynote speakers included expert consultants and senior staff from the IFRC, the Shelter Centre, CARE International UK, University College London and the University of Westminster. The conference reviewed the state of the art in post disaster shelter and discussed the roles of shelter practitioners currently working in the sector. It debated and questioned the role of architects. The conference agreed that, while architects do have a role, they need to radically rethink their conventional approaches if they are to be relevant in the reconstruction of effective post-disaster shelter. For many architects, this may mean 'relearning' the skills they have developed to engage better with people affected by disaster in a process, rather than just focusing on an end result - the shelter - as a product.