Humanitarian architecture and the creation of schools for disadvantaged communities in China

Du, Hang (2022) Humanitarian architecture and the creation of schools for disadvantaged communities in China. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In the past few decades, there has been increasing global concern for people in developing countries who are suffering from disasters, diseases, poverty, etc. As a result, many charitable organizations, architects, universities, and others have become involved in humanitarian projects to help alleviate these social problems by utilizing architectural design skills. Humanitarian architecture provides solutions in response to natural- and man-made societal or environmental problems and its scope can be broadly classified into two categories: ‘post-disaster’ and ‘socio-economic community development’ projects. Significantly, in recent years there have been also increasing concerns about the roles and responsibilities of architects and the appropriateness of humanitarian architecture. Similar to the global picture, research into post-disaster humanitarian architecture in China has increased significantly in recent years, however, research into ‘non-disaster relief’ projects focused on socio-economic development is rare.

The rapidly developing economy in China has resulted in the gap between rich and poor becoming wider particularly in relation to the standard of education and school facilities between urban and rural areas. This situation has particularly affected migrant workers, who are the products of the unique urban-rural system in China. They move to cities for employment opportunities leaving their rural ‘left-behind children’ in their hometowns or villages.

The topic of this thesis is Humanitarian Architecture and the Creation of Schools for Disadvantaged Communities in China. The central aim of this PhD research is to

understand and help improve the non-disaster relief humanitarian architecture process in the provision of schools in the disadvantaged communities of China. The research in this thesis has approached the phenomenon of humanitarian school projects for underdeveloped communities in China by focusing on three specific case studies, the Bridge School project, the Xiashan Primary School project, and the Xiuning Shuanglong Primary School project. The research methodology of this PhD research is qualitative research method with case studies, where documentations, interviews, participant observation are the main methods to carry out the case studies. This thesis has also articulated the delivery mechanisms for each project, issues and challenges, and the impact on the local community through a comparison of the three projects. The research project’s methodology, research methods application, and the potential gaps and weaknesses has been examined to draw lessons in relation to future of research into humanitarian architecture.

This thesis has provided an extensive literature review on humanitarian architecture in relation of schools in the Chinese context at a PhD level. It has provided literature reviews on what is humanitarian architecture, the history of humanitarian architecture, the arguments on humanitarian architecture along the history and how current humanitarian architecture projects are working in terms of both global context and Chinese context and it discussed the potentials to propose an improved model for the practice of humanitarian architecture in China.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Heath, Tim
Keywords: Humanitarian architecture, Schools, China
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 67296
Depositing User: Du, Hang
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2022 04:40

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