Date of Submission

Spring 5-4-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Department

Architecture

Primary Advisor

Zamila Karimi, M Arch, MFA

Secondary Advisor

Saleh Uddin Ph.D

Abstract

Because there is a lack of adequate health care facilities in developing countries, there is a substantial amount of unrealized, optimal health gains and effective, architectural interventions which are not fully realized. With 80% of its population living below the world poverty line, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere. The United Nations Development Program’s 2014 report shows the extents of poverty at 75% mainly in the rural areas of Haiti. Only 25% of households benefit from adequate sanitation, thus people become more susceptible to infections and diseases. Reoccurring natural catastrophes have also dented the country's development. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew slammed into southwestern Haiti, killing thousands and negatively affecting 2.1 million people, including approximately 900,000 children. Despite the extent of devastation among the affected population, the disaster failed to attract both the financial support and attention it deserved from the international community. At present, the emergency response phase is winding down, yet the crisis is far from over. Traveling to Haiti has allowed me to personally witness the daily struggles of the people in a rural area. Because the most established hospitals and treatment centers are located within the city, residents of rural areas often have difficulties with transportation to the facilities. My uncle, who is currently living in Haiti, purchased a van transforming it into a makeshift ambulance to transport the sick to hospitals within the city. Because of this initiative, he has had many success stories including one where a woman from a remote village, was finally able to get vaccinations for her newborn twins.

The main question addressed in this thesis is, how can we, as architects, design in response to the medical and sociological, needs of underdeveloped societies? This thesis opens the exploration of how we can integrally tie today’s expanding technology to the formation of accessible, efficient, and flexible architecture in locations where the fundamentals of medical access are lacking. The creation of this architecture, using new age technology, allows deployable and temporary structures to provide a high-quality option to enable healthcare transformation in communities where people are in desperate need of a solution to receiving medical aid.

My overall intent is to create temporary deployable, medical clinics which are climate resilient, adaptable, and designed to improve access to healthcare by providing essential medical services to rural communities in Haiti. I will begin this process through analyzing community needs, spatial programming, and exploring materiality to then offer alternative medical care facility access to attend to the needs of the poor. The creation of this architecture is a resolution to how we can design for the development of an entire country rather than the individual. This increases their sense of ownership, by providing a space where the locals can also become engaged in both the clinic’s building process as well as receiving quality education about sanitation and medical care. This is a process of reconfiguring healthcare as a global movement for the advancement of modern design.

Previous Versions

May 10 2018

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