Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Leapfrog From Disaster

Organized and led by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA and Leapfrog Project including the American Institute of Architects’ AIA NY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) and AIA International,  Leapfrog From Disaster will be held in the Philippines on November 1 – 7, 2014 to bring together world-leading pioneers in Resilience, Architecture, and Ecology.

More people are now living in natural disaster-prone areas resulting from climate change. In 2013, there were 22 million people displaced by natural disasters, as reported and backed by the UN in the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) Global Estimates. “The Philippines experienced the most displacement… with Super Typhoon Haiyan, which was among the strongest such storms ever recorded, displacing 4.1 million people alone — one million more than Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. (via Mashable)” In recent years, studies by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicate more than 700 recorded natural disasters globally, affecting more than 450 million people worldwide.

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, Leapfrog From Disaster is a truly radical symposium that will both generate and seed distinctive new built environment solutions to the challenge of natural hazards.

Leapfrog From Disaster will explore new theories for both urban and rural development that may accelerate resilience by moving away from out-dated practices and technologies, to more efficient, more equitable and more sustainable solutions.

Speakers and delegates alike will be challenged to re-invent the post-disaster paradigm, going beyond current aspirations and expectations in post-disaster rehabilitation.


  • Organize a genuinely collaborative post-disaster rebuilding initiative that utilizes wide-ranging local, national and international expertise, efforts, and resources to help Tacloban and its neighboring cities rebuild with resilience.
  • Engage different schools of thought from design, science, technology and business, through interdisciplinary discourse and group activities both during and after the symposium.
  • Birth a new school of architecture-and-design-thinking from the typhoon rebuilding efforts, which may inform future natural hazard resilience programs worldwide.
  • Develop ecologically-friendly architectural solutions that help protect the rich biodiversity of the region and beyond.

“… Leapfrog Project’s role and potential for the Philippines is staked out, and a unique role for (Filipino) architects defined. (This) symposium will be hugely important as the one year anniversary of the disaster (Haiyan/Yolanda) approaches.”
—USA Ambassador (ret) John F. Maisto, President of the US-Philippines Society
 “Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was very devastating and horrible. Having witnessed its impacts firsthand and assisted in rebuilding, I saw the tremendous amount of work going on including all the help that’s happening around the world. I’m delighted to hear of the efforts being made toward this symposium. It sounds super special, positive, innovative, and I hope it will go a long way.”
— Billy Dec, The Whitehouse, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
“The symposium sounds awesome. I commend your efforts to help rebuild after the terrible Typhoon Haiyan. Resilience is a major focus area for the AIA (American Institute of Architects).”
— Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, 2015 American Institute of Architects President-Elect


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