Michele di Marco, Disaster Management Alumni part of Design for Healthcare SURGE: A Toolkit for the African Region
The WHO Téchne, the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the Téchne member Politecnico di Torino were awarded the first prize of the UIA International Innovative Health Design Awards 2023 under the category: Theoretical Work.
The winning research proposal Design for Healthcare SURGE. A Toolkit for the African Region was developed under the collaboration agreement signed in 2020 between the World Health Organization (WHO) and Politecnico di Torino.
Politecnico di Torino is part of Téchne, the WHO Technical Science for Health Network, that from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic responds and prepares to acute public health events with urgent and customized support.
The research has been carried out by a team of architects and engineers, professors and Master's Degree students involved in the Green Building Design Studio from Politecnico di Torino (Departments of Architecture and Design and Energy), with the collaboration of the Téchne Operational Support Team (OST)  and the WHO Regional Office for Africa. The proposal aims to create a design methodology to support the design process of the Centers of Excellence conceived by WHO under the Flagship Projects to on-board and train multidisciplinary teams ready to be deployed during health emergencies.
The methodology is based on context understanding as the foundation, and four pillars working in synergy: Environmental sustainability, Cultural Adequacy, Building Technologies, and Infection Risk Mitigation, to achieve an effective result.
The project was awarded in July during the closing ceremony of the UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen. The World Congress titled ‘Sustainable Future. Leave no one behind’ aimed to make architecture a central tool in achieving the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
As Téchne coordinator, Michele's main role was to guide and support the Téchne member Politecnico di Torino throughout the project. Through a collaborative process and by working closely with Politecnico di Torino and the WHO Regional Office for Africa, the team developed a proposal that is aligned with the WHO's requirements, while parallelly based on four pillars working in synergy: Environmental sustainability, Cultural Adequacy, Building Technologies, and Infection Risk Mitigation.
 Téchne Operational support team (OST) is based at the World health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, responding and preparing to acute public health events.