2011 haiti_utk publication

One to Another

A Downloadable Publication from the 2011 Haiti UTK Studio


WBIR Report of the Haiti Studio

Introduction haiti_utk

Welcome to the Haiti UTK site! The work on these pages reflects student engagement in design for both a school and housing for the community of Fonds des Bloncs, Haiti in collaboration with the Haiti Christian Development Fund. The project was initiated in the early fall of 2010 and subsequently a class of 19 students, in the spring of 2011, was given the responsibility of deisgning a secondary school. The school is under constuction. A new group of students is now hard at work developing new housing in Fonds des Blancs. The work of these students can be seen in the pages of this blog. Students of the class will be traveling to Haiti Februay 2-6 to collect addiional data. It is anticipated that this second phase of the project will be completed in late April with construction starting summer 2012. The work of the students is being guided by three primary faculty, John McRae, David Matthews, and Chris King, a local practictioner. The students during their exploration will engage a wide range of issues including context, culture, resources, climate and other outside factors not common to their expereince. 

Students: Cassidy Barnett, Aaron Brown, Sarah Heimermann, Mitzi Coker, Emily Corgan, Ben Cross, Peter Duke, Emily Fike, Sam Funari, Lauren Heile, Kendra McHaney, Lauren Metts, Morgan Oiler, Bernice Paez, Forrest Reynolds, Emily Ryan, James Sawyer, Zachary Smith, Robert Thew, Cory Wikerson Faculty: John McRae, Chris King, David Matthews

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Special Thanks!

The Haiti Studio for spring 2012 is being supported by HaitiServe foundation based in Knoxville Tennessee, that is focused on outreach and engagement in improving conditions in Haiti. 

haiti_utk public blog index
« Studio Work: Teachers' House_Team 05 | Main | Haiti House Design 06 B - final blog post »

Recollections: Haiti House Design_Team 05 

This semester’s studio assignment was one that everyone in our group will remember as being different and more rewarding than most.  It will be remembered for re-shaping our notion of the world.  It will be remembered for being real. 

                  In so many instances we are tasked with designing imaginary buildings on unobtainable sites using untested means of construction.   They certainly have their merits as they challenge us to expand our mental horizons, but they are also limited.  Cost is seldom an issue.  Rarely are we challenged with the builder’s dilemma that if we can draw it… they can build it.  Haiti is different.  These buildings will be built.

                  After being totally blown away by how far our preconceptions were off before traveling to Haiti, we set down to work designing appropriate homes for Haitian civilians.  Like most every studio project we minded local context and regional flavor, but unlike other projects, we found it disrespectful and incorrect to veer far from these precedents.  The building process in Haiti, we realized, was something the people were proud of… something they could control… something that should remain intact. 

                  Rather than trying to create an American design and give it to Haiti where it would surely be rejected and ignored, we attempted to design Haitian.  Instead of introducing disorder and chaos to a land riddled with such things, we emphasized rationality above all else.  Our designs were decidedly un-American.  Not in the sense that they hate America, but in the sense that they are strongly dislocated from their nation of their designers.


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March 14, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereaster pictures 2018

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