University of Virginia Architecture Dean, Faculty and Students Participate in Temporary Housing Symposium in Washington, D.C., May 6 through 8.

May 5, 2008 — University of Virginia School of Architecture Dean Karen Van Lengen, assistant professor Anselmo Canfora and about 20 students who participated in two design classes focused on researching, designing and fabricating relief structures for those who experience catastrophic events will participate in a symposium in Washington, D.C. on May 6 through 8.

The symposium, "The Architecture of Disaster Relief/Shigeru Ban," will address sustainable environmental practices in global disaster relief and highlight the work of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, a leader in the field. The event is sponsored by the Meridian International Center of Washington in association with the Embassy of Japan.

Van Lengen and Canfora will participate in two of the three sessions: "Shigeru Ban's Architecture and Designs for Global Disaster Relief," on May 7, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at the Meridian International Center; and an open forum on May 8, from noon to 1:30 p.m., at the National Building Museum, co-sponsors of the forum event. At both sessions, Canfora will present the work his students produced in "Initiative reCOVER" design studios in 2007 and 2008. This work includes prototype disaster-relief housing as well as a project to develop a series of primary school buildings to be built in Uganda in partnership with Building Tomorrow, Engineering in Context and Initiative reCOVER.

The students' work will be displayed at the National Building Museum during the symposium.

U.Va. students will join students from Keio University's Shigeru Ban Laboratory in Tokyo to construct three structures designed by him — the "Emergency Paper Shelter" and "Paper Partition System" on the grounds of the Meridian International Center, and the "Paper Log House" at the National Building Museum.

Information about the symposium is available at

Information about Initiative reCOVER is available at