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In March 2011, the Tohoku deep sea earthquake, generated a tsunami that devastated large areas of the east coast of Japan. Almost 16 000 people died and over 730 000 buildings were partially or totally destroyed .
This semester our Extreme Environment Master Course will reach out to the challenges of post trauma of the Tsunami disaster in Japan. Two years after the disaster, hundreds of thousands of people are still without permanent housing, and municipalities struggle to devise a sustainable plan for the future rebuilding of the devastated areas.

In a time where architecture most often unfold its potential in stable economies and with large investments, we will try and engage directly with communities in need. How can architects be more inventive and challenge the present plans of the destroyed communities?

Before our field trip to Japan, the course will engage in a thorough understanding of the Tsunami impact, and the students will devise material to survey and record the present state of the disaster area to support their design of an architectural intervention in an site of their choice.

For more information:

COURSE TITLE: Advanced Architectural Design (AAHN02) “EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS: JAPAN AND THE TSUNAMI LEGACY” CREDITS: 15.0 (plus 7.5) COURSE EXAMINER: Prof. Christer Malmström COURSE DIRECTORS: David A. Garcia OBLIGATORY COURSE: Integrated Design: Architectural Design (AAHN10) 7,5 Credits at Japan, field trip workshop (2 weeks) ATTENDANCE: Maximum 20 students. COURSE LANGUAGE: English DURATION: One Semester (3 September – 21 December)

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The course is structured as a study and design strategy, with strong emphasis in engaging with real scenarios, from a critical and sustainable approach.

FIRST PHASE, PREPARATION: A thorough understanding of the sites and events will be communicated visually and used as a constant reference to inform the design, but specially to aid the student to determine the program, encouraging responsibility in defining their relationship with architecture and the world around them.
During this phase, we will use our international and national researcher and experts to help with the latest in technology and science to aid towards the understanding of the events and resulting scenario. Furthermore, as a preparation for the field trip to Japan, students will devise their own surveying instruments, to monitor, chart and record the parameters at stake.

SECOND PHASE,FIELD TRIP TO JAPAN: We will be travelling to Japan. The visit will take us to Tokyo, Kyoto and the prefecture of Miyagi where the Tsunami struck with greatest impact. A vital part of the field trip will be to register and chart the areas that will be later used in the third phase of the study to develop an architectural proposal. During this time, we will also help build some of the projects in the area by taking part with local voluntary efforts.

THIRD PHASE, BUILDING DESIGN: During the last and most important phase, the students will design an architectural proposal responding on the challenges and sites that they found most relevant. Drawing from an international network of experts, the students will be supported by reviews and lectures.

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2 September – Course start, lecture and course presentation.
The course will start with a two week preparation phase with lectures and courses to familiarise the student with the characteristics and challenges of the site, cultural context and detail of the events and present status .

17 September – First Phase project Interim Review

4 October to 20 October -Second Phase, field trip to Japan

29 October – First Phase Final Review

19 November – Third Phase Interim Review.


17 December – Final Crit and review with international panel. Exhibition opening.

The course will end in a final review with and international panel and an end of semester exhibition for the whole school that will later travel abroad.

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As a vital part of the course, we will be travelling to Japan to visit two of the areas devastated by the Tsunami, in the prefecture of Miyagi. We will also be visiting the architecture studios in Tokyo, engaged with designing solutions to the Tsunami affected areas as well as the organizations that monitor earthquake and disaster activity in Japan. To understand traditional architectural methods of construction and how theirs qualities, we will visit Kyoto and some of the traditional Temples.
Some of the organizations we will be visiting or collaborating with in the affedted area are:

ISHINOMAKI 2.0 – An organization of local and country wide supporters, trying to reactivate the lost city centre. They also rent cheap accommodation for volunteers.

Irori Ishinomaki is an old garage has turned into a meeting place for Ishinomaki 2.0, and an open place where internet access is freely available.

Ishinomaki Laboratory is a wood workshop where locals produce wooden furniture designed by Japanese architects, and can be used by private individuals.

An organization that primarily works with temporary housing, by making arrangements with them and publishing a newspaper. Additionally, they started a program for fishermen in small fishing communities, where they get young people from mainly Tokyo to come and work on food and lodging.

Volunteer organization that mainly worked to eliminate waste and repair people’s houses.

Working to build new houses and storage space for fishing villages outside Ishinomaki.
Prof. Christer Malmstöm is a practising architect, joint owner and general manager in Malmström & Edström, and is presently Dean of the Architecture School in Lund. He has been Professor at Chalmers School of Architecture from 1997 to 2007 and his work has won several national awards. He is an international lecturer and prominent voice in the Scandinavian architectural scene.
David A. Garcia graduated from The Bartlett School of Architecture, London. He has worked at Foster and Partners and has been an associate partner at Henning Larsen Architects for ten years. Today he runs MAP architects and is founder of The Institute of Architecture and the Extreme Environment. He is the editor and publisher of the international publication MAP (Manual of Architectural Possibilities) and has taught at LTH since 2002 and is a studio director at The Bartlett School of Architecture. David lectures regularly at international architecture schools, and exhibits his work world wide.

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