Accepted Paper:

Rebuilding as therapy  


Paolo Robazza (University of Strathclyde)
Enrico Marcorè (University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

Our aim is to perform an architectural experience by building something together. The fundamental point is to pay attention to the process rather than to the final product. Then, by means of the case study presentation, we will collectively talk about building as a more general healing experience.

Paper long abstract:

This proposal is the result of collaboration that began few years ago between an anthropologist and an architect. We want to show our outcomes from different disciplines perspectives both confronted to post-quake reconstruction. After few years of fieldwork investigation (anthropologist work) and practical building experience (architect work) my colleague and I we arrived to the same conclusion: rebuilding is a therapeutic experience for people hit by earthquakes.

By the example of an Ecovillage remade from scratch after the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, we argue that the resilient reaction to the quake - understood as a life's traumatic event - is about remaking new relations with the environment through new kind of architectural sharing. During the Ecovillage building process, the quake's victims built at the same time a supportive community of practice and five straw bales houses by means of manual work, shared knowledge, skills and life experiences. Building this ephemeral place was fundamental in order to give to the victims' the possibility to rescue themselves by rescuing their upset environment. Manual work in the E.V.A. permits not only to be mentally occupied in practical operations in order to forget the quake but also to rediscover body's specific abilities and environmental affordances.

As a collective healing experience rebuilding after quakes could be considered as a process of newly becoming entangled with the world. In this panel/workshop we try to give a taste of this entangled process.

Panel P086
A Museum of Architecture: Challenging Representation(s)