Now in its fourteenth year, the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has been awarded to Iulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, for her project “Life Between Shelters: Refugee camps of today becoming cities of tomorrow”.
Refugee Crisis: The Latest Architecture and News
Iulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, Wins the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship
Throughout human history, the movement of populations–in search of food, shelter, or better economic opportunities–has been the norm rather than the exception. Today, however, the world is witnessing unprecedented levels of displacement. The United Nations reports that 68.5 million people are currently displaced from their homes; this includes nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of eighteen. With conflicts raging on in countries like Syria and Myanmar, and climate change set to lead to increased sea levels and crop failures, the crisis is increasingly being recognised as one of the foundational challenges of the twenty-first century.
While emergency housing has dominated the discourse surrounding displacement in the architecture industry, it is critical for architects and planners to study and respond to the socio-cultural ramifications of population movements. How do we build cities that are adaptive to the holistic needs of fluid populations? How do we ensure that our communities absorb refugees and migrants into their local social fabric?
This World Refugee Day, let’s take a look at 5 shining examples of social infrastructure from around the world–schools, hospitals, and community spaces–that are specifically directed at serving displaced populations.
Archstorming has announced the winners of their Open Ideas Competition: Mosul Postwar Camp. In the competition for architects and architecture students, the challenge was to design a social reintegration solution with essential humanitarian aid for people who return home to Mosul after the Iraq war against ISIS. The competition results proved there are many ways to revitalize the lives of displaced people through the spaces they inhabit.
Over the past two years alone, more than a million people have fled the Syrian conflict to take refuge in Europe, strenuously testing the continent’s ability to respond to a large-scale humanitarian crisis. With the Syrian Refugee Crisis still unresolved, and temporary refugee camps now firmly established on the frontiers of Europe, architects and designers are devoting energy to improving the living conditions of those in camps fleeing war and persecution.
One emerging example of humanitarian architecture is Maidan Tent, a proposed social hub to be erected at a refugee camp in Ritsona, Greece. Led by two young architects, Bonaventura Visconti di Modrone and Leo Bettini Oberkalmsteiner, and with the support of the UN International Organization for Migration, Maidan Tent will allow refugees to benefit from indoor public space – a communal area to counteract the psychological trauma induced by war, persecution, and forced migration.
7 Architectural Solutions for Asylum Seekers Shown by the Finnish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale
The 2016 Venice Biennale may have officially closed in November, but many of its constituent parts continue to have a life beyond the confines of Venice. From Border to Home, the exhibit hosted by the Finnish Pavilion, showcased the results of an international architecture competition between October and November of 2015 that called for residential solutions for asylum seekers that offer both short-term shelter for refugees and long-term impact on the surrounding community. Three winners and four honorable mentions were featured in the exhibition, accompanied by a blog that offered sustained dialogue on the topic from architects around the world. On March 21st, Finland's contribution to the Biennale will finally be concluded with a review of the Biennale's themes and a seminar on the pavilion, hosted in Helsinki. Read on to find out more about the winners and four mentions from the competition that were featured in Finland's From Border to Home pavilion.
For the first event of our 2017 panel season "Displacements" the AIA-NY Global Dialogues Committee explores how designers are responding to the global refugee crisis through analysis, advocacy, documentation, and design.
Jordanian artist Raya Kassisieh, with the support of American firm NADAAA, has repurposed her exhibit from the Amman Design Week in Jordan to create blankets for Syrian refugees and Jordanian families. The Entrelac exhibit, created by Kassisieh and NADAAA, consists of 300kg of hand-knit, un-dyed wool which was later cut and stitched to create blankets for those fleeing the Syrian Civil War, now approaching its sixth year.