Our partnership with RMIT's new Master of Disaster, Design and Development

By November 12, 2015 Blog, Featured

When we first launched our masters program–Master of International Cooperation Sustainable Emergency Architecture–back in 2010, we were virtually the only postgraduate degree with a specific and joint focus on the role of design in emergency and development. Thankfully, the interest in impact design has only grown since then, leading to a growing number of study programs that train architects and designers to tackle issues of poverty, climate change and rapid urbanization.

We are proud to announce our participation in a brand new postgraduate program at RMIT University titled Master of Disaster, Design and Development (MoDDD), that explores how design can be used as a strategic tool to help resolve complex global challenges including poverty, natural disasters and climate change. Developed in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and UN-Habitat, the program delivers specialized knowledge of design processes, leadership skills and the ability to apply expert judgement to complex problems in disaster mitigation and development.

“Each year over the past decade, an average of 27 million people around the world have lost their homes due to natural disasters. While there is an immediate need for emergency shelter and infrastructure solutions after a disaster, the bigger picture and longer game is to provide broad strategic support for the rebuilding of devastated cities and landscapes. Humanitarian design is about redefining design problems and solutions by engaging communities directly and allowing them to participate meaningfully in the rebuilding of their homes, villages and lives.” – Esther Charlesworth Associate Professor and Director of the Humanitarian Architecture Research Bureau (HARB) at RMIT

“Many [international development] agencies are represented on shelter issues by logisticians or generalists without a specific background or understanding of the built environment. This is why a degree such as MoDDD is critical in addressing the complex design and planning tasks needed to rebuild the physical and social infrastructure, after disaster.” Graham Saunders, Executive Director of Shelter and Settlement for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC)


A mosque being relocated after riverbank erosion in Bangladesh. Credit: Jonas Bendiksen, Photojournalist, Norway.

In addition to intensive seminars and workshops in Melbourne or Barcelona and online electives, the course will include optional field trips organized in collaboration with our Master of International Cooperation Sustainable Emergency Architecture ( School of Architecture UIC Barcelona).

Following its initial launch at the Designing for a Fragile Planet symposium at RMIT in October, MoDDD will celebrate its European launch with another symposium with the same name at its Barcelona headquarters on November 30th. We’ll be announcing the full program and keynote speakers soon, so stay tuned!

Learn more about MoDDD at RMIT.

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