Deborah Gans is the principal of the New York–based architecture firm Gans Studio and a professor in the Architecture School at Pratt Institute, New York. Gans Studio works on alternative forms of housing, including models for New Orleans and a disaster-relief project for Kosovo that won an international competition and a grant for subsequent development.

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Two hundred million people have been affected by natural disasters and hazards in the last decade. For every person who dies, some 3,000 are left facing terrible risks. Ninety-eight percent of these victims live in the developing world, where billions of dollars in aid are absorbed annually by climatic and geologic crises. Extreme …

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