Architectural Design Workshop — TECHOS: Prototyping Resilience

Permission of instructor

We seek applications from MArch, SMArchS, DUSP, BSA, and BSAD students interested in architecture’s relevance for disaster relief, with strong design and fabrication skills, or relevant experience.
Please submit a single PDF including recent work samples, and a brief statement of interest to dstaback@mit.edu by 5:00 pm Sunday November 18. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding the workshop or the application process.


A year and a half after hurricane Maria, we return to disaster stricken sites in Puerto Rico. It is estimated that over 25,000 homes still remain braced under blue tarps, and that the forced migration has exceeded 100,000. Clearly, there is a lot left to do. The premise of Techos is that we may be in a position capable of addressing this need at a certain level, and that the understanding of these processes of intervention is of benefit for both academia and practice.

Through this workshop, students will participate in constructing a revised version of the prototype timber roof, learning from builders and engineers, while also interrogating and expanding on this particular strategy of relief in its timing and context.

By discussing a host of other responses to the post-hurricane housing and infrastructure problem, we will interrogate what has been done, at what scale, and how we can envision to move forward. The workshop will take place in Puerto Rico, within a host community with a long history of adaptation at the intersection of urban infrastructures and environmental threats. We will interact with local organizations, leaders, architects, engineers, and government liaisons involved in reconstruction efforts. We will document, discuss, and build on as part of this very hands-on initiative which proposes that a roof, one of the archetypes of architecture, can serve as a vehicle for resilience.