Design Against the Elements is a global call-to-arms competition for architects to disaster-proof the world's most vulnerable communities against climate change.

The Philippines is prime geographic real estate for natural disasters. The country is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which means it will always be bracing for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It's also in a tropical region which means that it will always bear a disproportionate amount of damage from typhoons that are intensifying in magnitude over time because of climate change – a phenomenon that it has contributed little to relative to other countries.

Widespread poverty and dysfunctional urban planning compound the problem. An estimated 44% of the population are squatting in make-shift homes built from detritus and scrap metal. It's no surprise then that the Philippines is perennially among the top ten countries that suffer the most loss of life and property damage from natural disasters.

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