Thursday, March 17, 2011

Emergency Support for Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

Shigeru Ban is known for disaster relief projects, finding appropriate local solutions for the Kobe earthquake (1995) and the tsunami in Sri Lanka (2007), among others. For last weekend's earthquake and tsunami in his home country, he is deploying the latest investigation: a paper partition system for gymnasiums and other large spaces used to shelter people after natural disasters. The main goal is privacy. As Ban describes it in Matter in the Floating World by Blaine Brownell, "A few days [in a gymnasium] are OK, but after a week or a few weeks people really suffer, because there is no privacy between families." The system primarily uses paper honeycomb board and cardboard tubes.

[PAPER PARTITION SYSTEM - Fukuoka, Japan, 2005 and Fujisawa, Japan, 2006 | image source]

From Shigeru Ban Architects' web page:
On March 11, 2011, 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Tohoku, JAPAN.

We are currently preparing to deploy simple partitions for evacuees taking shelter at gymnasiums in the Tohoku region.

From now on, for people taking shelter in these sites, it is necessary to avoid distress from the lack of privacy and high density.

We ask for your support of this important disaster relief endeavor.

Donations made to the [bank account with information listed on his web page] are very much appreciated.
People interested in donating can also click over to Architecture for Humanity and Red Cross.

(Thanks to Valentina for the tip.)