18:02 01.04.2024

European Design Upgrade 3.0. An international project about rethinking modular housing

3 min read

The war against Ukraine has caused more than 4 million people to lose their homes due to destruction from missile attacks and forced displacement from the frontline and occupied territories. Amid these challenges, there is an urgent need for affordable, adaptive and flexible housing.

This is the problem addressed by European Design Upgrade 3.0, an international project aimed at finding and implementing effective solutions and technologies in the development of modular housing for people who have lost their homes. The goal of the project is to rethink modular construction for crisis areas and situations, such as wars, natural disasters, and other adversities.

"The key idea behind EDU 3.0 is to bring together architects, engineers, designers, and other stakeholders to create new and effective solutions for modular building construction. This is an important task and a serious challenge, as modular houses are the key to solving the problem of temporary affordable housing in Ukraine for all those affected by the war," comments Yurii Pyvovarov, President of K.Fund, the project's implementing organization.

The EDU 3.0 program was developed jointly with leading experts from Estonia, Ukraine, and Finland and is based on the principles of human-centered design thinking. In particular, at the opening of the project, experts shared that in modular housing, this approach should take into account comfort, functionality, energy efficiency, and sustainability to meet the needs and experiences of people who have lost their homes. "Our main task is to change the attitude of people in Ukraine to this type of housing, to convey that modular construction is about quality, aesthetics, and energy efficiency, among other things," adds Olha Batova, EDU 3.0 project mentor.

The project also focuses on solving urgent problems faced by Ukrainian and global modular settlements. Kateryna Tkachuk, an EDU 2.0 finalist and speaker of this year's project, spoke about the most important ones:

  1. Lack of personal and common space, as well as rooms specially equipped for cooking and hygiene.
  2. Ignoring factors important for a safe and comfortable life, such as non-compliance with fire safety rules or constant dampness and mold.
  3. Lack of flexibility and adaptability, which is also an important factor for adjustments for people with disabilities.

The project involves specialists in design, construction, and architecture, students and graduates of specialized higher education institutions, as well as entrepreneurs and members of the public. The participants are currently at the stage of selection for the hackathon to develop new ideas, where they will be able to plan and design their solutions for modular housing in a group work format. Throughout the hackathon, as well as during the development of their own projects, participants will receive ongoing mentoring support, and later, the evaluation and selection of the best projects for awarding at the awards ceremony. The authors of the best concepts will receive additional support and funding to implement their project.

Participation is free of charge. EDU 3.0 is implemented by K.Fund, Brand Manual, UrbanMill, and Ultrahack. The project is funded by the European Union under the Creative Europe program. The project's media partner is the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

You can register for the hackathon, which will take place from April 11 to 13, and learn more about the project here: https://edupgrade.design/