Design for Recovery: Fieldwork in Nepal & Somalia

Design for Recovery

During January of 2016, a group of GSD students travelled to Nepal and Kenya, to examine post-disaster recovery in Nepal (after the 2015 earthquake) and Somalia (after 2012 drought and conflict) embedded with project teams from World Vision International. This exhibition is the product of this experience, documenting progress, successes and challenges. Students were able to examine implementation of projects, field realities, and institutional approaches of how built environment issues are being tackled on the ground after a disaster, and question the role of design professionals and how they can better support community needs. Fundamentally, the role of design was examined, and how it can support and be integrated for better recovery outcomes.


Nepal Fieldwork by Justin Henceroth (MDes ’17), Oscar Natividad Puig (MDes ’16), Omar De La Riva (MUP ’17), Illika Sahu (MUP ’17), Ashley Thompson (MDes ’17), Jeronimo Van Schendel (MArch ’16); Somalia Fieldwork by Carlyn James (MDes ’17)

Brett Moore (Loeb Fellow ’16), Project Advisor


A multimedia exhibition speculating on the experience of field-based design research in Nepal & Somalia was held from April 21, 2016-April 15, 2016 at the Harvard Asia Center. Featured work included research, drawings and sketches, geospatial and conceptual cartography, and photography in order to speculate on risk and resilience, disaster assessment, disaster response, recovery, and rehabilitation as grounded in the contemporary urban condition.


With support from World Vision Nepal Earthquake Response, Harvard Asia Center, Harvard Center for African Studies, Heffernan International Travel Award, Harvard Graduate School of Design Master in Design Studies Risk & Resilience Program, and Harvard Graduate School of Design Loeb Fellowship.