Design Against the Elements is a global architectural design competition meant to find a solution to the problems presented by climate change. Spurred by the devastation wreaked in the Philippines by tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana) and driven by a powerhouse multidisciplinary group of organizations from the private, institutional, and government sectors, the project aims to draw together the most innovative minds in the fields of architecture, design, and urban planning to develop sustainable and disaster-resistant housing for communities in tropical urban settings.
The winning design will be built as a prototype disaster-resistant and livable eco-village in Taguig City, Metro Manila. The village will be the first green and disaster-resistant community in the country. It will provide a model that can be studied and replicated in similar areas. The finished project will house a marginalized community living in an environmental danger zone, giving them a sense of security, ownership, and awareness of sustainability that can be practiced at all levels in their everyday lives.
The project also aims to present a definitive green building solution in a truly local context. Too often, home-owners, architects, and policy-makers think of sustainable building as a luxury that only privileged landowners and advanced countries can afford. Design Against the Elements considers green architecture as essential to survival; it has the ability to reduce the frequency and impact of environmental disasters and lessen the cycle of poverty.