REBUILD PUERTO RICO
The dialogue of City and Housing with Society has been the main focus of the Work of Manuel Bermúdez. At the urban scale, he has developed urban plans for many towns and communities in Puerto Rico. At the building scale, his work has concentrated in Affordable Housing and Institutional Architecture, mainly educational facilities, where he wrote the Guides for the New School of the Education Department in 2002. His work has received numerous awards and recognitions.
In his academic phase, he has tried to inoculate the love for the City to the students. He has taught the Urban Design Studio for the last eight years at the School of Architecture of the UPR. Besides working local urban problems, he developed Urban Workshops of the Hispanic Caribbean Capitals. Sustainability and Resilience has been themes always present in his Studios.
He has promoted the appreciation of the City and Architecture by the citizenship through the different professional boards in which he has served.He has organized interdisciplinary Urban and Housing Charrettes, to address urgent urban and housing problems. In 2017 he received the Henry Klumb Award,the maximum distinction granted by the Colegio de Arquitectos y Arquitectos Paisajistas de Puerto Rico to one of its members.
His interest in Disaster Recovery goes back to 1989, after Hurricane Hugo impacted the Island, during his presidency of the local AIA. Shortly after the impact, an alliance was made among the Colegio de Arquitectos, School of Architecture of the UPR and AIA and a one-week Charrette was celebrated to propose solutions for the reconstruction of the Island.
In 2011 he participated in the AIA Charrete for the Reconstruction of Puerto Príncipe. In 2013-2014 he acted as Urban Design Consultant for the Puerto Rico Proposal to the National Resilience Competition, sponsored by HUD.
In 2018 he participated in Puerto Rico Re_Start, an International Project and Research Workshop, and alliance between the Universities of Puerto Rico, Florida, Seville and Rome celebrated in the School of Architecture of the UPR. Later that year he participated in the Housing Consultant Group of the Advisory Committee for a Resilient Puerto Rico, sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
Most recently, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College invited him as a panelist for the Puerto Rico Puerto Ricans Diaspora Summit III and Resilience + Solidarity Conferences to discuss issues surrounding Puerto Rico's reconstruction after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María.