Jean Carlos Vega Díaz

MIT Department: Architecture

Undergraduate Institution: University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus

Faculty Mentor: Miho Mazereeuw

Research Supervisors: David Moses, Larisa Ovalles, Mayank Ojha, Aditya Barve

Websites: LinkedIn, Facebook

2018 Research Poster


There is no back to normality. After environmental disasters, there is only a before and an after. As a returning MSRP alumni, having lived through hurricanes Irma and Maria from my hometown Carolina, Tierra de Gigantes, Puerto Rico, taught me about the extreme effects of global warming on increasingly populated and un-resilient Puerto Rican settlements, municipalities and cities. Being a disaster survivor, I live my work designing strategies for risk reduction in the built environment, community integrated project delivery and data driven architectural design. Graduating from the University of Puerto Rico’ School of Architecture with a background on Art History, I aspire to pursue a phd. that prepares me to pioneer in the interdisciplinary challenges of increasing resilience in local communities by embedding risk reduction and preparedness in the design of cities and regions. Some of my hobbies include embracing the outdoor’s, walking barefoot on the grass, spending time with my two brothers and family, drawing and playing the Puerto Rican Cuatro.

2018 Research Abstract

Keep Safe: Understanding Risk Impacts on Puerto Rican Housing and Communities

Jean Carlos Vega Díaz1, Miho Mazereeuw2, David Moses3, Larisa Ovalles4

1School of Architecture, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus

2,3,4 Urban Risk Lab, School of Architecture & Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In the brink of unsustainable post hurricanes Irma & Maria Caribbean reconstruction, this research is foundational work for the risk chapter of Keep Safe Puerto Rico, a homeowner’s strategy manual for disaster-resistant single and multi-family homes on the Puerto Rican archipelago. Following an air, water, and land hazard structure, this research uses a series of layered drawing to demonstrate Puerto Rican housing and community vulnerabilities with example coast, valley and mountainous geographies. Overlapping relevant hazards for delimited Yabucoa, Villalba and Utuado municipalities, the research shows how disaster risk is the product of interrelated atmospheric, hydrologic and geologic hazards interacting with particular built environment vulnerability in the Puerto Rican island context.