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Designing Resilient Housing

Enrollment is Closed
  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

    Jun 13, 2015
  3. Classes End

    Aug 31, 2017


01. Welcome and Introduction to the Course

1.1. Welcome and Introduction to the Course

1.2. Team Formation and Collaboration Process

1.3. Types of Natural Hazards

2. Precedent Studies

2.1. Resilient Architecture Precedent Studies

2.2. Earthquakes and the Case of Nepal

2.3. Typhoons and the Case of the Philippines

2.4. Floods and Cases in Europe

3. Resilient Design Assignment

3.1. Resilient Housing Design Requirements

3.2. Design Guidelines and Team Work

3.3. Housing Design Requirements

3.4. Architecture as the Art of Building

3.5. Design Assignment Submission Guidelines

4. Assembly Design Assignment

4.1. Assembly Design and Growth

4.2. Team Bonding and Collaboration

4.3. Design Presentation Guidelines

5. Housing Design Development

5.1. Housing Design Development Assignment

5.2. Team Work and Collaboration

5.3. Virtual Midterm Design Review

6. Building Techniques and Midterm Follow-Up

6.1. Midterm Review Follow-Up

6.2. Resilient Building Techniques

6.3. Project Development and Presentation

7. Final Design and Submission Guidelines

7.1. Final Design Guidelines

7.2. Final Submission Requirements

8. Final Review Guidelines and Thanks

Final Review Guidelines for August 15

About This Course

Architects, engineers and other professionals must take action in the development of the global resilient design strategy for areas affected by natural hazards. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, draught and brush fires are increasingly occurring in different part of the world due to climate change. In times of crisis, the whole world should act to help refugees and environmental migrants with the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Designers have the opportunity to propose housing solutions that can help people, protecting them from natural hazards with safer homes and cities. We need to take action now.

The goal of this online course is to generate designs for resilient housing for the people living in areas endangered by natural hazards. The participants in this course will design affordable and easy to build houses, which could be implemented by OCHA, USAID, WBG, and other international organizations. They will work in teams of architects, planners, engineers, and social workers from all over the world. After the course, a selection of the projects will be placed the Open Online Academy website, so anyone can download and use them.

Course Structure

1. Natural Hazards and Areas Affected.

2. Resilient Design Precedents

3. Spatial Design

4. Resilient Unit Design

5. Unit Aggregation Strategies

6. Urban Design

7. Project Submission and Jury

Learning Outcomes

Course participants will learn about the design of resilient architecture and how it can be implemented both in rural and urban settings. They will improve their design and collaboration skills, working with a global community of professionals from all over the world. They will be learning from each other, as they will present their work publicly each week and receive feedback from the professors and fellow students. The work will be done in teams, which will work together on developing integral projects that include aspects of architectural design, structural engineering, building technology, social space, community development, economic feasibility, sustainability and resilience.


The involvement in the course is flexible. For architects, this is meant to be an intensive design studio course, so participants are expected to dedicate 10-20 hours a week. For others, who act as advisors and collaborators, it could take 5-10 hours of work weekly.


An international jury of experts will select the best projects, which will eventually get built. We’ll have weekly virtual lectures and daily discussions on our online forum. A team of professors, consultants, and teaching assistants will guide and assist the course participants in their work.

Weeks 1-2-3: Research and Techniques Analysis (20% of final grade)

Week 4: Resilient Housing Design (20% of final grade)

Week 5: Aggregation and Transformation Strategy (20% of final grade)

Weeks 6: Resilient Urban Design (40% of final grade)


Students who complete the assignments and submit the final Resilient Housing project will be eligible for the official OOAc certificate of successful completion of the course. They can also request letters with personal evaluations and recommendations from the course professors:


The course awards 20 CEU credit by AIA-CES.


The course work will be collaboration between people from many different backgrounds: design, engineering, economics, healthcare, social studies. They will join their knowledge, skills and energy to design solutions that are resilient, feasible, sustainable, buildable, etc. For designers, previous architectural experience is highly recommended. We suggest the course to professionals, graduate students, and last year architectural students. For non-designers, we are looking for social workers, economists, policy makes, developers, business people who can integrate their knowledge and skills with the work of the designers.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Ivan R. Shumkov PhD

Ivan Shumkov is a New York based architect, professor, scholar and curator. He is a pioneer in online education and founder of Open Online Academy (OOAc), where he also teaches architectural design, history and theory. He graduated with masters degrees from ETSA Barcelona, University of Florence, and Harvard University GSD, as a Fulbright scholar. He completed his PhD in Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Columbia University GSAPP, as fellow of the Fondation Le Corbusier. Dr. Shumkov has taught at Harvard University GSD, Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Parsons the New School for Design, International University of Catalonia, and ETSA Barcelona. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Alumni Association and President of Harvard Architectural and Urban Society Alumni. Dr. Shumkov is a licensed architect in Spain and Italy and principal of ISA - Ivan Shumkov Architects, a company working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape and design with offices in New York and Barcelona. He has worked, lectured and exhibited his projects and research in Europe, Brazil, Colombia, China, and the USA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy a textbook?

No, a free online version will be available, though you can purchase a printed version if you’d like.

Question #2

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