Currents for Currents, a design concept by Deo Alam and 228 Design Studio, won the grand prize for “Innovation and Architecture for the Sea” at the Jacques Rougerie Foundation Awards last 18 January 2018 in Paris.
The proposal aims to fulfill the need for reliable electrical power infrastructure in Mindanao and make coastal communities more resilient in the midst of typhoons and rising sea levels. Mindful of imposing modern technology on the deeply rooted, old-world cultures, the team based the Currents for Currents housing design and site plans on the current dwellings of the Tausug, Samal, and Badjao tribes.
Each structure is anchored to the seabed by a column on which water turbines are attached—a year 2050 version of a house on stilts. The houses are clustered along the coast with their power collection interlinked so they can produce electricity for the whole community. Excess power can be sold to power-plants to be redistributed to nearby cities, providing the fisher-folk an alternative means of income.
Deo Alam, who represented the team at the awards, shared with BluPrint a recap of his panel defense: “I told them the beauty of the project lies in the idea that small indigenous communities will benefit the most. That there is so much designers can learn from the old-world and we should not allow technological advancement to override our humanity.”
“One of the jurors commented the project balanced beauty and function, and that it was feasible to build in a few years’ time,” Alam added.
Jacques Rougerie Foundation – Institut de France is a non-profit organization dedicated to architectural innovation and sustainable development for the ocean and outer space. Since 2011, the foundation has organized an International Architecture Competition to promote the development of highly innovative and promising projects.