Students discussing Unit 6; Emily Hinchliffe, Hosn Houssami, Bruce French, Isabelle Berre, Emily Gayer, Lida Franco
This year Unit 06 focused on the contribution that architecture can make to the integration of refugees into a host community. Students were based in three different cities: Athens, Greece; Calabria, Italy; or Freetown, Sierra Leone. All three are migrant gateways and transitional settlements for the uprooted.
Form and familiarity are linked together in place, adding to a feeling of confidence in being there, and contributing a sense of belonging. Conversely, if form is not recognised or appears alien residents are left with a sense of alarm, of the uncanny where the unexpectedly awful might happen. It may seem ironic, therefore, that Athens, where concepts of citizenship were first explored in ancient theatre, and Calabria, a historic crossroad of multiplying cultures, should be the setting where we attempted to fit order and meaning into place at a time when familiar notions of EU citizenship are under existential threat.
Projects were carried out with optimism, with the creative interplay between the energy of the students and the residents’ ongoing act of dwelling generating a valuable and meaningful architectural discourse around engagement with the opportunities and responsibilities available within civic topography.
Students discussing Thought on Lockdown; Emily Hinchliffe, Hosn Houssami, Bruce French, Isabelle Berre, Emily Gayer, Lida Franco
Calabria - Mendicino presentation