"RING OF FIRE" POST DISASTER SYSTEM
Shelt-air is a mid-tech post-disaster architectural system that provides a quick, sensible and sensitive response to the need of shelter. The system is an evolving hybrid that combines prefabrication componency with post-fabrication construction logics. Is a spatial protocol that organizes randomness in an increasingly evolving process of construction and social engagement, enhancing people’s unpredictability and cultural appropriation as a critical key for architecture in post-disaster scenarios. As a first step an overall dome-like geometry is established as a prototypical massing defined by 4 x 4 x 4 m; a ‘room size’ space that argues for a minimum unit of inhabitation. The system considers a soft inflatable module as an initial pre-form that provides a 3d layout with all the necessary information to guide and organise subsequence material aggregation. A spatial “construction manual” of sorts. The design of the inflatable module was initially approached digitally, in order to optimise and evaluate patterning and ribbing logics, as well as deformation and geometrical complexity. Each resulting seam is a direct response of the most efficient pattern, determining the areas where material can be deposited and layered. Once the ribbing rules were defined, a digital process for structural form-finding and optimisation was run. Five hundred variations of the system were generated and evaluated. The most efficient ribbing pattern was selected to be furtherly tested and prototyped 1:1. Although the system considers digital tools for its design and industrial manufacturing, rudimentary techniques and simple domestic material resources are an active part of the construction process: The 20k inflatable mould is first laid-out on the ground to get inflated. Once the inflation process is finished, the material layering process starts; beams-like paper rolls are used to create a pre-structural layer. The thickness and amount of paper vary from one area to another according to the tracing pattern embedded on the inflatable. After the paper has settled for a while, new layers of solidifying materials can be added as complementary layers (mud, clay, concrete, etc.), translating the same additive logic to evolve the shelter to a more permanent structure. This ‘Digital Crafting’ logic, allows the system to be replicated and adapted to diverse scales, communities, contexts and uses.