Anniversary of Ketsana (Ondoy) Brings Together Students and World’s Best Architects

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Media Release: Climate change is happening more rapidly than expected. As in many developing countries in the tropics, the Philippines’ poorest are already directly hit and they are the first ones feeling the impact yet least able to adapt.

September 26, 2009 with the advent of Ketsana with almost 500 deaths and billions lost became the inspiration for the United Acrhitects of the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission, the City of Taguig and the MyShelter Foundation to go beyond the traditional way of repairing after the storm, but building better habitat braced for a cycle of climate challenges.

The Philippines is consistently on the top ten on the Climate Index Risk as having the most deaths and property damage. Therefore, more and more there is a need to reorient the focus from Low Carbon initiatives, and look to a vision of Zero Climate Casualty initiatives.

Design Against the Elements (DAtE) is a global design competition to look for new blueprints from the best architects from around the world for urban solution for communities already bing hit by the early manifestations of climate change. Through this project it would be a way to bridge the movement of new ideas on how to build resiliency through the use of design and architecture which can lessen the impact of the yearly expected flooding and drought which cause massive migrations of low income urban sectors.

On this first year’s anniversary after the most damaging typhoons to hit the country, DAtE would like to request for your support by publishing this competition that will revolutionize housing in response to climate change. The winning design will be built in the prototype community for displaced teachers in Taguig City, Philippines.

There are currently 74 professional architects registered as of present for category 1 and another 110 for student entries from around the world. Easily one of the most participated design competitions in Philippine history.

The registration to this competition is extended to October 15, 2010.

We look forward to be working with you in developing and achieving safer and more resilient urban communities especially in developing countries.

The website is

A short introduction to this project:

With your help it will make a difference and help us make this pioneering model in urban climate adaptation a success.


Illac Diaz
Executive Director
Design Against the Elements (DatE) Challenge

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