Emergencies and Design

Sitting here stranded in my apartment during the NYC Transit strike has got me thinking about the relationship between design and emergencies (ok, compared to real emergencies like Katrina and the Atche Tsunami, this strike is more a major headache, though for some, such as those who are losing money or access to healthcare, it is a true hardship.) Emergencies are, in most cases, sudden and unexpected; design work is traditionally carefully planned and relatively time-consuming.  At the same time, it is often exactly in times of emergency when the need for good design is the greatest.