Shelter, Housing and Home in Crises

Principal Investigator(s): Mr Charles Parrack


About us

The aim of our research is to improve the quality and effectiveness of reconstruction after the devastation and trauma of natural disaster and conflict. Shelter and settlements have wide impact and influence health, livelihoods, safety, environment, protection, education, water and sanitation, cultural identity and community.

It reaches vulnerable groups such as children, old people and the disabled. It influences psychosocial issues and is critical in disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Strategies for dealing with shelter in emergency settings can be controversial. Questions arise such as:

  • how to balance immediate needs vs. planning for longer-term
  • are construction materials appropriate to local knowledge and skills
  • should local communities design and manage housing
  • do traditional shelters contribute to people’s well-being and sense of community
  • what role can innovative technologies play.

We work in collaboration with operational agencies to identify research projects on the impact of shelter, analyses and disseminate findings amongst the shelter community of practice.

Aceh 2005, recovery after the Indian Ocean Tsunami (photocredit Bill Flinn)



Name Role Email
Professor Cathrine Brun Director of CENDEP
Ms Maria Faraone Senior Lecturer in Architecture, RIBA Studio Programme Director
Mr Bill Flinn Associate Lecturer
Aparna Maladkar Post Graduate Research Assistant and Associate Lecturer
Mr Charles Parrack Reader and Shelter after Disaster Research and Knowledge Lead
Dr Brigitte Piquard Reader in Humanitarianism and Conflict


Name Thesis Title Supervisors Completed
Oscar Natividad Puig The role of multi-scalar networks in participatory urban interventions addressing socio-spatial inequality: an actor- network perspective Professor Cathrine Brun, Professor Sue Brownill


Tobias Vokuhl Built back better? Exploring end-user perceptions of Economic, Symbolic, Cultural and Social capitals gained or lost in Nepal Government grant qualifying post-earthquake reconstruction housing. Professor Cathrine Brun, Professor Ramin Keivani