If we imagine one's escape to a refugee camp as fragmentary, provisional and incomplete, the camp must be transformed not only in design but also in its role as a catalyst for promoting the humanity of those living within its barbed-wired walls. [...]
Architecture has become the litmus test of society's capacity for holistic and compassionate security. — cnn.com
For more on the architectural experience of refugees:Kenya moves to shut down Dadaab, the world's biggest refugee campNew MoMA exhibition explores the architecture of displacementAi Weiwei documents life in Greek refugee camp on social mediaThe vast majority of Syrian refugees are seeking refuge...
Kenya has vowed to close the world’s biggest refugee camp within a year and send hundreds of thousands of Somalis back to their war-torn homeland or on to other countries, a plan decried by aid and human rights groups as dangerous, illegal and impractical.
Kenya says it needs to close the sprawling Dadaab camp, home to 330,000 mostly Somali refugees, to protect the country’s security after a string of terror attacks by al-Shabaab. — The Guardian
With most of Europe and the Middle East grappling with an unprecedented refugee crisis, it's easy to lose sight of the millions of other displaced peoples around the world. But the largest population of refugees isn't in Germany, Sweden, or France.Rather, with a population of...
The architecture of forced displacement is the subject of “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter,” a forthcoming exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit will assemble work by architects, designers, and artists responding to the global refugee crisis.
Curated by Sean Anderson, MoMA’s associate curator for architecture and design, with curatorial assistant Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, “Insecurities” will include works of design built to help alleviate suffering inside refugee camps. — citylab.com
↑ Interior of a Better Shelter prototype in Kawergosk Refugee Camp, Erbil, Iraq. (Image: Better Shelter, 2015)Related stories in the Archinect news:Ai Weiwei documents life in Greek refugee camp on social media"Nobody thinks about the safety of these women": the harrowing experiences of female...
The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is visiting Lesbos to document the plight of thousands of refugees who arrive daily on the Greek island by boat from Turkey. For the past two days, Ai has been photographing orange rubber dinghies coming into shore, families huddled around fires, people queuing to register at the Moria refugee camp and piles of discarded lifejackets, among other scenes [...]
It is understood Ai will be creating a work in response to the refugee crisis. — theartnewspaper.com
Here are just a few of Ai Weiwei's recent photos from the Lesbos refugee camp; giving a human face to people and entire families escaping war and persecution in their home countries of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, as well as documenting humanitarian workers, such as the Norwegian group, Drop...
Rows of white tents in an otherwise sparse landscape are often featured in the media, but the reality is that 80% of Syrian refugees have sought refuge outside of camps, and the majority of these are living in urban areas – whether in “informal tented settlements”, rented rooms, or half-finished buildings. [...]
While the majority of Syrian refugees are not in camps, the bulk of humanitarian resources are channelled towards maintaining camps. — theguardian.com
More on the Syrian refugee crisis:The "suffocating" life in a Syrian refugee tentWhat Does the Syrian Refugee Crisis Mean to Architecture?Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a DIY CityHow to Build a Perfect Refugee Camp
Ikea's line of flat-pack refugee shelters are going into production, the Swedish furniture maker announced this week, after being tested among refugee families in Ethiopia, Iraq, and Lebanon. The lightweight "Better Shelter" was developed under a partnership between the Ikea Foundation and the ...UNHCR... Each unit takes about four hours to assemble and is designed to last for 3 years — far longer than conventional refugee shelters, which last about 6 months. — the Verge
As the Verge article notes, the announcement comes at a time when there are nearly 4 million people left without homes from the ongoing wars in Syria alone. Globally, there are 45.2 million people currently displaced by conflict and persecution according to a UNHCR report. And even that number...
A typical library can take years to build. But a new library kit, designed to travel to remote refugee camps or disaster zones, can come together in less than 20 minutes. The Ideas Box...fits the equivalent of a small-town library on two standard shipping pallets. It comes with books and e-readers, tablets, laptops, cameras and other creative tools... Since camps might not have internet access or power, it comes with its own. The boxes that hold all of the devices convert into tables and chairs. — FastCoExist
In the tents of Syrian refugees, stories abound and tragedies surround them daily... With the passage of time, a tent becomes a home and shelter, their only place in this limited world. When rain exhausts the roof of the tents and wind uproots them, the refugees agonize as much as they did over the destruction of their houses in al-Raqqa or Aleppo. “We may have grown accustomed to our tent. Some of us like it, and others still cannot stand it. Do you know how the world can become a tent?” — Al-Akhbar
Public space like the plaza in Al Fawwar is mostly unheard-of in Palestinian camps across the West Bank. Architectural upgrades raise fundamental questions about the Palestinian identity, implying permanence, which refugees here have opposed for generations. [...] Camps were conceived as temporary quarters. The absence of public space was then preserved over the years to fortify residents’ self-identification as refugees, displaced and stateless. — nytimes.com
As a result of the Syrian civil war, there are now 3 million Syrian refugees registered in neighboring countries — an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday. The record figure was 1 million refugees more than a year ago, and an additional 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said. — Al Jazeera
As the Islamic State rampages through Syria and Iraq, thousands are being displaced to add to the growing refugee population created by a civil war against Bashar al-Assad. The Islamic State actively uses infrastructure, specifically hydoinfrastructure, as a militaristic tactic exacerbating...
Zaatari is becoming an informal city: a sudden, do-it-yourself metropolis of roughly 85,000 with the emergence of neighborhoods, gentrification, a growing economy and, under the circumstances, something approaching normalcy, though every refugee longs to return home. [...]
The change, accelerated by regional chaos and enterprising Syrians, illustrates a basic civilizing push toward urbanization that clearly happens even in desperate places. — nytimes.com
Many of the world’s displaced live in conditions striking for their wretchedness, but what is startling about Kilis is how little it resembles the refugee camp of our imagination. It is orderly, incongruously so. Residents scan a card with their fingerprints for entry [...]. Inside, it’s stark: 2,053 identical containers spread out in neat rows. No tents. None of the smells — rotting garbage, raw sewage — usually associated with human crush and lack of infrastructure. — nytimes.com
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