The joint colloquium Retreat | Rebuild is organized by Rosetta S. Elkin and Vincenzo Bollettino between the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Master in Design Studies Risk and Resilience Program and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). The premise of the colloquium places land-based issues at the core of disaster response and recovery as an essential, under-addressed bridge between designers and humanitarians.

To access the full program, please click here.  I  To access the colloquium cases, please click here.


Special Collections Session including curated pieces from the Loeb Library Special Collections from the Kathmandu Valley Trust and the Franziska Porges Hosken Research File.

Loeb Library Special Collections
Friday, April 21st, 2017
2:00 – 4:00 PM

Keynote Lecture by Sara Pantuliano, Managing Director, Overseas Development Institute & Editor of the Journal, Disasters with Event Organizers and Respondents Rosetta S. Elkin (GSD) and Vincenzo Bollettino (HHI).

Menschel Hall, Harvard Art Museums
Friday, April 21st, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Retreat | Rebuild Colloquium featuring panels and dialogue between humanitarians and designers on the topics of Retreat, Rebuild, Response, and Engage.

Naumburg Room, Harvard Art Museums
Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Disaster recovery is entrenched in the landscape. Lives are put at risk when land heaves, slides or shakes, when it becomes inundated or undergoes drought, when it is submitted to unrestrained development. Land issues are at the crux of conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction efforts alike. And yet, disaster response operations — focused on alleviating suffering and meeting immediate human needs — cannot account for the fluidity and longer time horizons that define the risk. As a result, land rarely serves as the primary topic of research in the humanitarian field. This conference brings into view the necessarily fluid effects that disasters have on the land and the humanitarian action that unfolds in response, with the aim of furthering the necessary collaboration between humanitarians and designers.

FEATURED IMAGE: Memorial prayer flags crown the landslide and avalanche which decimated the high-mountain village of Langtang, Nepal after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Photograph by Dane Carlson, founder of REALMS.