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A lot more attention has been paid to natural disaster proof and survival architecture since the Japan quakes hit in March. One of the biggest problems facing survivors and responders after such a disaster is finding enough safe temporary shelter. Drawing inspiration from the Sao Paulo skyline, Designer Mike Reyes came up with the RISE modules to help solve this problem by taking advantage of the usable space surviving structures offer.

Sao Paolo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere and the 6th largest in the world. It’s also the most populous in all of the Americas and when a disaster like the constant floods Sao Paolo receives hits, hundreds of thousands of families are left homeless in unsafe conditions.

Reyes asks “What would happen when a mega flood comes; leaving only the strong survivors stranded? Could this catastrophe be a road for a new, sustaining civilization?

To basically create space where there wasn’t before, the RISE system hangs securely off the exteriors of existing high-rises, and is designed flexibly enough to allow it adapt to different kinds of structures; even bridges and other infrastructure. Construction is simple: helicopters would fly in folded individual units and together with the help of survivors inside the building would basically hook the RISE unit to the interior lip like the threshold of a window. Then the survivors would unfold the walls and ceiling of the unit. The unit is held securely by the force it creates against the walls of the building.

Each unit has 4 beds, desks, skylights and windows, a water funnel and purifier, the option of solar cells, and even an outdoor patio that allows neighboring units to connect to each other. Reyes designed the interiors to feel safe and comfortable, as well as designed them colorfully after studying the important role design plays in the disaster scenario psyche.

The RISE system is also a model for progress forward. The water purification system and solar panels greatly reduce carbon emissions to nearly zero and to further lower even construction costs, the RISE units are made from local wood and steel recycled from construction waste.

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