Disaster Relief through Urban Design

Collapsed building in Aleppo

People walk past collapsed buildings in Aleppo. February 11, 2023. Photo by AFP.

The design

We design timber units (flat-packs), which are assembled into shelters in a matter of days and constitute a foundation for expansion and customisation in the mid-long term. Therefore, we provide shelter for the period of upheaval whilst serving as the basis for a life-long home.

Mykola Murashko

Flat-pack assembly

The flat-packs are produced in Europe, shipped to the devastated areas, and assembled on-site. Later, the objective is to move the engine of reconstruction in a community-driven effort to localise the production, thus fostering local economic growth and community inclusion.

Mayar Ariss

Flat-pack section

A Letter from the team

Dear Friends,

In 2023, powerful earthquakes in Morocco, Syria and Turkey resulted in thousands of casualties and left survivors with destroyed homes. War-torn countries currently face a similar plight. Providing shelter to affected communities is a moral imperative, which is sometimes complicated by logistics and political will.

Although usual emergency solutions provide immediate relief, they are ultimately not viable to solve such crises. In fact, they are harmful in the long-term, as they lead to protracted refugee situations where refugees remain in camps much longer than intended.

From a pragmatic reading of the facts, we offer an alternative to the traditional way humanitarian agencies deal with crises. We are a team of architects, designers, engineers and scientists striving to build resilient communities, to think of emergency shelters as homes and of refugee camps as future cities.

Your support is crucial for our mission. Your help will enable imminent housing while reducing the dependency to degraded shelters, eliminating the risk of permanent slums, preserving the dignity of people and restoring their civic pride by offering a sustainable long-term alternative to tents.

We would love to hear from you should you have questions, comments, or just want to say hi. Please connect with us and consider supporting our action by sharing, joining and/or making a gift. ❤


The Team

Rescuers search through the rubble.

Armenian rescuers search through the rubble in Aleppo. Feb 9, 2023. Photo by AFP.


The team

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Mayar Ariss

Initially studying Environmental Sciences & Engineering at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Mayar is now a MEng candidate in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. In 2023, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he founded GAMMA, as a visiting student at MIT Senseable City Lab. Mayar is also a research fellow at the Dubai Future Labs.

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Paul Carluy

Trained at Atelier de Sèvres, Paul earned his BA in Industrial Design from École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL). His works lie at the intersection between form, function and identity. He is now an assitant designer for Louis Vuitton's "Objets Nomades" collection. He founded ACID (archives contemporaines et internationales de design), a podcast on design theory and analysis featuring occasional guests.

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Pei Zhao

Pei holds a BSc in Economics from Peking University and a BSc in Environmental Science & Technology from Tsinghua University. In 2018, she was a research assistant at Duke University. Currently, Pei is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a visiting PhD researcher. Her ongoing research focuses on transport decarbonisation within MIT Senseable City Lab.

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Charles Dezons

After completing the mathematics and physics "classes préparatoires MPSI/PSI*" at both Lycée Henri IV and Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Charles enrolled at École des ponts ParisTech (ENPC) as an Economics, Management and Finance student. In 2022, he joined Imperial College London as an exchange student. He specialised in stochastic processes and quantitative modeling of financial markets.

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Tom Benson

Since 2018, Tom has been working as a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT Senseable City Lab, his research aims at making cities more liveable by combining the fields of architecture, urban planning and data science. With a MArch from the University of Westminster, he previously worked for the British Army, Buro Ole Scheeren, Foster+Partners and Monsoon Assemblages.

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Selen Aksoy

Selen is a PhD candidate in Architectural Design Computing and a part-time lecturer on urban metabolism and AI at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU). She is also a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT Senseable Amsterdam Lab, Selen studies the role of repurposed buildings in addressing housing needs, considering a 15-minute city framework.

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Sadegh Sabouri

With an MSc in Urban Science & Informatics from the University of Tehran, Sadi received a PhD in Computational Urban Science & Planning from the University of Utah. In 2022, he co-instructed an urban data science course at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at Politecnico di Milano. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Urban Data Science at MIT Senseable City Lab.

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Mykola Murashko

Myk graduated with a BA in Architecture from the University of Cambridge, where he was awarded the departmental Edward S. Prior Prize for the best understanding of construction and materials. He is now an architect at Carlo Ratti Associati, where he directs a construction technology spin-off specialising in the design of flat-pack structures. He is P&L owner, responsible for operations and R&D.

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Emily Loi

Emily graduated with a MEng in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. In 2020, she interned with a Fluid Mechanics research group at both Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research focused on global sewage sludge production and management statistics & trends. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

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