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86 | Disaster, Design and Development

As the world faces a rising tide of disasters and climate-induced migration, there are serious questions as to whether the design community is prepared to offer solutions meaningful to the crises humanity faces.

86 | Disaster, Design and Development

Dr. Esther Charlesworth is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University and Director of the Humanitarian Architecture Research Lab [HARB]. She is the founding Director of Architects without Frontiers (AWF) and has been described by ABC radio broadcaster Phillip Adams as ‘destined to develop into one of the greater forces of good on this battered planet’.

She is also the Academic director of RMIT’s Masters of Disaster, Design and Development program – a graduate degree program that seeks to educate both designers and non-designers about the evolving role of disaster on the planet. There, she teaches students about disaster and it’s role in contemporary life, while working towards strategies that allow continued human prosperity on a planet that is changing, often violently.

She is the author of seven books on the theme of social justice and architecture, including: Divided Cities (2009), ‘Humanitarian Architecture’ (2014) and ‘Sustainable Housing Reconstruction’ (2015). (see links below).

We had a chance to speak with Dr. Charlesworth on Social Design Insights, join her and our host, Eric Cesal in conversation.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2018 is "Alright With Me" by Reggie Young from his album "Young Street."The break music for this episode is "Dingo Hang Dog Blues" by Bullamakanka from their album "Bullamakanka."