Monthly Archives: February 2015

housing in extreme environments exhibition at GSD

gsd option studio fall 2014 by spela videcnik and rok oman of ofis arhitekti focused on housing in extreme environments. they asked me if i would share some of the environmental considerations with their students for the alaskan studio sites. it was great to be part of the final review and to see the designs for the alaskan settings. affordable housing is a top priority for many alaskan communities. we look forward to hosting the exhibit at the anchorage museum later this year.

extreme housing studio final review fall 2014

extreme housing studio final review fall 2014

“The extreme climatic conditions of the North introduce a design paradox for architects. The fragile environmental conditions require incisive designs that respond to irregular loading from strong winds, heavy snowfalls, avalanche risk zones, and extreme cold. The studio investigated a prototypical design: a unit with sleeping and cooking space for up to eight people, on a mountain site in Slovenia. The talk (on Friday, February 13th) serves as an opening for the exhibition on this project, curated by Spela Videcnik, John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Housing and Urban Development, with Rok Oman, featuring the work of her Fall 2014 studio, displayed on the Experiments Wall (in Gund Hall). Construction of the shelter is planned for summer 2015. ”

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re-locate update from kivalina


So Kivalina has a limited water source for water and sewer, but I’ve been looking for ways to set up a flush toilet system in my house on my own without having to collect water from the city’s tanks. This world is made up of incredible people are are creative, intelligent, and innovative and we have many here in Kivalina. They are just not motivated or the funding sources won’t fund private citizens. I’m not afraid of trying nor of failure. I just need those ‘creative, intelligent, innovative’ people to help me and a funding source.

So I’ve been looking for a toilet that has minimal water usage. I have an idea of a disposal system but I still need those ‘creative, intelligent and innovative’ people to design and construct it. But while I was sitting on this idea, a group of amazing individuals came to our aid; the Re-locate Group consisting of members from all over the world from as far as Asia. The first group that came to Kivalina had engineers from India but I wasn’t in Kivalina when they came so I don’t have photos of them. What an honor that was!

These people are not from governmental agencies, they were not sent by the politicians we voted in for office. They are private citizens that had heart enough to come together and make plans of helping Kivalina, total strangers to them. And still helping today. They are an independent group from different states and countries but also from Alaska. The media can have good results, it can reach the good-hearted people even if it was bad news that reached them. And we thank God for that!

-Submitted by Janet Mitchell, with her own take and views