From Disaster Risk Reduction to Design for Resilience and Regeneration: Three Prototypes in three Years

“What if we changed the narrative of Disaster Risk Reduction or DRR, into that of Design for Resilience and Regeneration?”

This is what inspires our design as Green Releaf Initiative. It started in 2009 when I was helping pack relief goods full of plastics and processed food. Looking at the massive pile of carbon packed to respond to the floods and mass displacement caused by Typhoon Ketsana, I wondered, “how might we address problems without the same factors that caused the problem in the first place?” This inquiry led to circular design called “Green Releaf” which eventually paved the way to studying permaculture and ecovillage…


(Photographer Unknown)

The first time I saw the image above was in my grade school text book. I feel I lost its meaning over time because I see it often through the years, being a standard image for cooperation in my country, the Philippines. Recently, I was showing this image to European colleagues as I prepare a social innovation lab with them for an upcoming ecosystem based DRR project. …


I moved to this beautiful new space full of light and wind last July. Until recently, I haven’t used this corner beside my bed. At first it was because there was a leak that it would form puddles when it rains. The repair from the roofing outside took months and I have lost all my patience and started neglecting this space. I stopped valuing it and all my anticipation of starting fresh in this home lost its energy as time went by.

Then finally it happened, it finally got fixed a few weeks ago. My inner Marie Kondo was flowing…


“Always follow your intuition; delight in beauty; find the image that captures the “heart’s core” of a conflict; listen for the poetry of human relationships; etch a shape into the chaos, beat a rhythm into the dark; and rely on the creative act, as the artist, to bring into existence that which has never existed before.”

— John Paul Lederach, The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace.

A children crafted ritual space made by hundreds of interfaith children and a children led ceremony for the resumption of the peace talks in 2011. President Aquino looks on.

It has been 2 years ago today since I helped lead another co-creative ritual space making for the peace process of the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front…

Sarah Queblatin

Design for Resilience and Regeneration

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