Post-conflict reuse of military systems: The applications of mobility in the delivery of education and stabilization

Daniel M. Nead
Master's Thesis | Spring 2012

Any subject that deals with massive resource flows, cycles of construction, destruction, and rebuilding, and millions of people in distressed environments would likely be a candidate for discussion and concern within the architectural community. However, the subject of warfare and conflict is often avoided within the profession. The speed of aid delivered to the populace in a warzone is critical to both the needs of the individual and the stability of representative governments. There is room for improving the delivery of aid in the immediate post-conflict. The reuse of military surplus for civil infrastructure is an underexplored topic. The new education system in Afghanistan is under a great deal of strain. There is a potential to reuse surplus military capital to serve this new education system and to utilize particular characteristics embedded within military design. Mobility is the primary feature investigated in this study; the conex container is the most promising system to carry out the practice. This study sets up an exploration of mobile applications for education through a review of historical and contemporary precedents and practices. Interviews with individuals in direct contact with the education system in Afghanistan, as well as individuals with military experience in the region, are used to direct the research. Additionally, Reports and findings from the Afghan Ministry of Education formed the basis for generating mobile reuse applications that are well suited to the Ministry’s efforts. The case study portion of the investigation comprised of a programming exercise on a specific site outside of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The intention of the programming exercise was to demonstrate how various forms of mobile applications might serve education efforts for the specific site and also fall within the framework of the Ministry’s broader practices. Mobile systems with the potential to increase the access footprint, speed of delivery, security, diversity of program, quality of construction, and economy of resources were identified and illustrated.

Thesis Committee: Beth Tauke & Ernest Sternberg