Please submit your ideas for earthquake disaster recovery at Issue + Design. The entry is until November 20th, 2011.
A Pot That Tied A Local Community
This is a photograph of a large, metalic pot in Kesen-numa city, Japan.
When a great earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku region of Japan, most utilities, from electricity, gas, to water, ceased to work. Depending on the location, the recovery of these utilities took weeks. While it seems impossible to live in such a condition, this local family in Kesen-numa City, who lives in a 200-year-old traditional house, which is nearly impossible to find in Japan, was exceptional as it was equipped with alternative means: they took water from the mountain stream, and boiled for drinking tea and cooking food. The pot was the center of community kitchen and dining space.
While many of our large infrastructure ceased to work, local communities reinforced their ties and helped each other to cope with the lack of supplies and information. And as we overcome the immediate, short-term emergency situations, the more fundamental and long-lasting recovery, with an involvement of local residents, become crucial.
How can design unite a local community? How can it support the recovery as the recovery plan involves the community members, from children to elders, to participate in the process?