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  • Writer's pictureMariela Bravo

Reconstruction | Reconstrucción

On Saturday, August 23, 2019, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the Young Architect Conference in Portland, Oregon.

I would like to thank Young Architect and Michael Riscica for inviting me. It was a very exciting and radical event.

The main purpose of my presentation was to teach other young architects about Puerto Rico’s reconstruction process and how they can use the lessons learned to their advantage and apply them in their respective communities.

We defined RECONSTRUCTION as “To build or form (something) again using EVIDENCE, EXPERIENCE and CHALLENGES from an event as the foundation for the application of NEW TECHNOLOGIES.”

1. EVIDENCE. In our case, EVIDENCE is about climate change in Puerto Rico and how nature is claiming back its space.

2. EXPERIENCE is the second component of defining a reconstruction strategy. Through our experience we learned the importance of resilience and sustainability strategies in architecture. We were originally taught that these components are something you add later in the project, more towards the end of the design process. The 2017 Hurricane Season was a harsh lesson and almost automatically all of the new projects being developed must integrate resilience and sustainability strategies.

3. CHALLENGES are the third component of defining a reconstruction strategy. The construction and architecture standards that were in place before María evolved at an exponential rate.

4. NEW TECHONOLOGIES are the fourth and most important component of defining reconstruction. The integration of sustainability and resilience measures is not something you add later to the Project as a backup. It is now an integral part of a Project and an essential component to its functioning.


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