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As we know, Indonesia located in the area of Ring of Fire; the Circum-Pacific Belt that stretched in Pacific Ocean line in specific nature-friendly with the earthquake and active volcanoes. This circumstance makes Indonesia must-have in high vigilance to respond in every disaster that comes suddenly. This blog that I would like to share in two series focus, to explain how collaborative multi-disciplinary expertise contributes to post-disaster relief. 


In 2010, I had joined with a social project to build temporary bamboo-based village settlement. It is to accommodate of 1,018 households who lost their villages, that caused swept by pyroclastic flow results from Merapi volcano eruption. The site placed in Gondang village, a distance of 10 Km from the Merapi volcano for the safest area. The entire sites area was around 13 hectares separated for three locations, with the Gondang 1 is the most prominent site in 8 hectares. It was built in three months and involving more than five hundred workers. This project expected to serve in two years during the transitional post-disaster program, but it was occupied only in six months before they moved into a new permanent village. The local government of DIY Province provided the project. 



The refugee, initially, has a tradition of living in togetherness and helping each other (mutual aid). Live in a group of houses that are formed by family kinship and village communities. It is covering the living style in socio-economic conditions, occupations and the origin housing conditions before. In particular, most of them are farmers, ranchers, and some sand miners whose lives from the spring belt of the volcano. According to those circumstance and initial assessment data, the grand challenge concept to set up the co-housing placemaking in temporary.


At the beginning of the designing phase, the base map analysis was done rapidly for three contoured sites, that formerly of sengon trees (albizia chinensis) forest. Well said, the three sites were not accessible well from the main street, lack of water resource and no drainage. Moreover, there was no availability of electricity. In this circumstance, the team was struggling to provide scheme design for those necessary infrastructures immediately. It involved more than five expertise such as; architect, landscape, hydrology, mechanical electrical, and transportation infrastructure.



The general design concept of the temporary village is adopting the urban housing strategies aspects. In simple terms, the starter-pack neighbourhood amenities are compulsorily providing in range. For instance, at the centre of cluster complex, there are offered public facilities such as mosque, health care, communal hall, nursery, and a small market. All those facilities are reachable in around 5 minutes. 


Regarding the co-housing concept, the settlement pattern concept designed in the grid module, with the orientation of the shelter cluster to the inner court. This approaching to provide the dwellers original activities community, such as gathering, farming and fish farming. It also helps them to produce daily consume for a while. However, in practice, some inner-court worked successfully as a communal space. Besides, the housing cluster configuration was linking by not cul-de-sac pathways and housing facing to the street. It easily recognizes the navigation orientation (mind mapping) for everyone to move, especially helps them to be quick evacuate there is an emergency. At least, there were two factors properly housing standards, that successfully meet with Building for Life 12 (BfL12) requirement, which is now I am studying on it.




All photo taken and graphic by: A. Isrefidianto (AI-CTLA Studio)



Building for Life 12. (2018). [pdf] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2020].

Earth Science, Geology, Oceanography, Geography. (2020). [web] Available at: [Accessed 5 March 2020].

Stea, D. & Turan, M. (1993) Placemaking : production of built environment in two cultures. Aldershot, Hants, England ; Brookfield, Vt., USA: Avebury.

Wakely, P.I., Schmetzer, H. & Mumtaz, B.K. (1976) Urban housing strategies: education and realization. London: Pitman.

Wikipedia (2020). [web] Available at: [Accessed 5 March 2020].


One response to “Post Disaster: Place-making Temporary Neighborhood”

  1. Hi arief, Interesting to read your blog about locality that’s form place-making in post disaster shelters. In culture led society place-making always formed in organic ways in sense of belonging to their community. Refugee settlement project design also hold important role in how people manage to stands up after being hit by natural disaster or by military conflict (UNHCR,2020).

    There is important critical thinking how to create temporary urban settlement that in many case always constraint with tight budget that can create positive atmosphere to the people inside the settlement. The need for feel connected is main concern in refugee camps (slater,2014). Creating communal space that the people can share each other’s can increase their sense of togetherness.

    Providing social and facility to support lives in refugee camp can boost their spirits such as Sport facilities, park, and community school.

    Good form of building also adds philological for the people. Designer can be creative with local material and make functional but unique design. Color also holds important role to make the surrounding more attractive (Cogley,2019)

    Good quality of sanitation also main concern in the refugee camps because healthy sanitation system. There is a lot of innovation for portable sanitation system and in some places the waste can produce as biogas as source of energy or can be process as fertilizers.


    Cogley. B. 2019, Colourful booths enliven Hayarden school for children of refugees in Tel Aviv. Available online Accessed 23 May2020

    Redesigning refugee communities. 2020, Available online Accessed 23 May2020

    Slater. J. 2014, Urban Systems of the Refugee Camp., Architecture Thesis Prep. 272.

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