Right to Heal: Architecture in Post-Conflict and Post-Disaster Societies

Architecture/Visual Arts/Law/Political Philosophy/Comparative Literature

The research I am proposing will explore architecture’s role in transitional justice and putting back together societies after intense upheavals and internal conflicts, such as state violence, environmental disasters, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and economic meltdown. I intend not only to critically expose architecture’s complicit role in conflicts, but also to demonstrate its creative potential after socioeconomic, ethico-political, and environmental disasters. The book that comes out of this research will both critically examine opportunistic responses to crises that foreclose the right to heal and find out best practices that move toward a more meaningful reconstitution. Rather than a tall order for post-traumatic societies, the term “right to heal” is meant to criticize architectural practices that perpetuate crises and to oppose them to examples that insist on imagining the future of social, global, and climate justice.

I am at the very beginning of the process for this book. During my time at Harvard, I would like to pursue research and write the draft of at least two chapters. The student working on this project will benefit from participating in all stages of this project, including research, conceptualization, and writing. Students with language skills in Arabic or Japanese are preferred.