Resilience through Education and Design Clinics


A few years after the Superstorm Sandy recovery had begun, The Elevated Studio recognized a significant gap in the recovery needs of those impacted. Many homeowners were still waiting for financial and reconstruction assistance for repairing flood, wind, and debris-driven damage to their homes. Few residents had been able to complete their reconstruction efforts due to constraints of available funding or confusion regarding how to rebuild in an efficient, safe and responsible manner. Property owners, many of whom were part of a vulnerable demographic, needed more guidance in recovery. To address these needs, The Elevated Studio created the Resilience through Education and Design Clinics (REDC) program.

REDC is the first phase of our recovery program for both individuals and communities. In this program, we provide Community Design Workshops, Rebuilding Assessments, Rebuilding Clinics, Educational Forums and Disaster Case Management. The Elevated Studio's aim is to bridge the gap between the social service and the reconstruction process by forging strong collaborations between long-term recovery groups, disaster case management professionals, and design professionals; setting the stage to provide a holistic and inclusive community and survivor-centric recovery.

  • The REDC Community Design Workshops help bot tES and the community to understand how the disaster affected neighborhoods, areas, businesses, buildings and services. Community members analyze, discuss and map their observations, feelings and knowledge about their community. These workshops can lead to a comprehensive master plan or help to solve a particular community issue related to the environment or neighborhood planning.

  • The REDC Rebuilding Clinics provides homeowners with access to design professionals who will advise on recovery options unique to their individual needs. Recovery decisions pose long-term effects on families’ financial stability and their future. The decisions need to be made carefully and with reliable information and professional guidance.

  •  The REDC Educational Forums- Topics of these forums may include: understanding the role of the design professional, and the construction professional; understanding flood insurance; funding sources for recovery; legal and property tax rights; and moving through the recovery quagmire. These focus predominantly on teaching the stakeholders the importance of rebuilding better.

  • The REDC Rebuilding Assessments- Building off of the initial assessment performed by FEMA or other governmental agencies, we provide the next level of assessments, and author detailed damage reports. Our staff and board of directors at The Elevated Studio have been trained in The State of California’s Safety Assessment Program (SAP).

The REDC program is based on three important values: 

Design Innovation: The REDC program draws on the applied creativity, inspiration and energy of The Elevated Studio design team to put together great teams and create great designs. While our events are hosted by us, we invite many design and building professionals to volunteer their time to give design and technical advice. Having many minds working on the same problem leads to innovative solutions.

Enhancing Resilience: Resilience requires an understanding of a community and appropriate building methods and designs that will address future concerns in a comprehensive manner. REDC’s home design options and community workshops demonstrate and engage residents in understanding how their home will be able to withstand future hazards, thereby enhancing long term livability.

Strengthening Community: Too many communities are vulnerable to the effects of disasters due to inadequate safety measures in the built environment and a lack of technical understanding. The Elevated Studio provides the training, technical expertise, and networks necessary for local architects to provide the leadership necessary to strengthen their communities.