Architects design a modular living space for refugees.

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Architects design a modular living space for refugees.

UNI announces the results for ‘Shifting Horizon’ architecture design competition.

Housing for refugees is mostly in camps, set up by the UN, but refugees who seek citizenship have very few options to do so. The few that exist, come with challenges of their own. To accommodate refugees within city limits, commercial or free spaces are to be converted to residential plots. This increases the density in the area, putting a strain on the land, resources, and infrastructure of the region. It ultimately creates tension between refugees and residents.

Since the influx of these refugees is estimated to increase throughout the years, there will be a soon need for permanent housing that will require answering real questions of migrant issues. This displaced population who are losing years away from their homes, at the same time completely detached ties from their origin may impair their connection with any economy in the future. With some degree of efficient housing, this vulnerable population can be brought back into the economy while giving them the required dignity to live on.

How do we negotiate urban environments to accommodate the placeless?

What if we could use compact and affordable housing technologies to house refugees inflowing into the city to give them a transient shelter until the chaos is stabilized? What if we could make use of sustainable technologies that can help us achieve efficient habitats that can be economically and socially sustainable in the long run?

The challenge of the competition was to create a community of tiny homes that can be inhabited by refugees from different regions around the world.

A point to be kept in mind was that these spaces will be occupied by people with diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, so the design must generate a neutral living space. Although architecture and design cannot nullify the prejudices that refugees will face as they go through their everyday life, the community they live in must be a safe and secure haven for them, to live in with comfort. Isolation, post-trauma depression, home-sickness are just some of the issues that refugees struggle with as they make the move from their homeland to a new place. Social interaction and communal gatherings can help alleviate this feeling of loneliness and foster unity among these people.

The jury for the competition consisted of esteemed designers, professionals, and academicians from around the world. The Lead Jurors for the competitions were as follows: 

Jana Stachova, Partner, Boq Architekti, Czech Republic

Karel Petermans, Architect, ZAmpone Architectuur, Brussel

Some of the Best competition projects are as follows:

Winning Project: Sojourners Asylum

By: Taha Khanijazani, Anahita Niknejad, Mohadeseh Hamidi and Mehdi Khakzand

Description: Our design emphasizes self-sufficiency and sustainability to create a socially interactive atmosphere where no one would feel any signs of homesickness. We considered all criteria needed for a person who has left everything behind and created a place where it feels like home.

People’s Choice: Shifting Horizons

By: Evan Williams and Aaron Lewis

Description: In a world of inequity, violence and scarcity, there is unfortunately a reality of refugees in the world. There are millions of refugees in the world that dozens of countries take in order to preserve their right to live. The goal here is to Shift the Horizons of these individuals in 3 ways: by Nesting Horizons, Lifting Horizons and by Connecting Horizons.

Editor’s Choice: Shifting Horizons

By: Constantin Boloban and Roman Petlyovaniy

Description: SHIFTING HORIZONS – project of a new district in Utrecht meant to give people of different nationalities ,religion and culture, who are in need temporary homes, feeling of safety and comunity. We wanted to design space that will give residents an opportunity to fit in new society, while being sustainable.

UNI brings together the world’s largest pool of design challenges that are curated by the finest architecture academicians and professionals globally. With over 200,000+ registered members, UNI ties the academia and professional spheres of architecture together through a unique knowledge sharing web platform.

You can now join UNI membership and participate in the ongoing challenges without paying any additional fee. With UNI Membership you can register in any competition on UNI throughout the year for free!

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