UBC Graduate Research

Cause + Effect : Rendering the Invisible Sveinson, Halley


Architecture is inherently political and has the potential to be used as a form of agency for those affected by conflicts. The most affected populations of both environmental and human conflict are the millions of displaced people globally. These groups are hosted in other countries in varying conditions, from host families to tent shelters in refugee camps. The establishment of refugee camps are often adjacent or at a distance from major cities or along International borders. The birth of a refugee camp is based on pure necessity and creates a problematic condition for transitioning into permanent settlements. Unfortunately, many refugee camps arise in areas of internal conflict or zones of environmental risk. The advancement of design tools and technology allow Architects to investigate areas of severe conflict or are inaccessible for field studies to provide site-specific humanitarian design proposals. Host countries of refugee populations are responsible for their treatment. Considering this, the project studies the political complexities of Lebanon as a host country of Syrian refugees. Their national policies are clear tools of geo-political control and create unsafe living conditins for this vulnerable population seeking refuge in their country. As a designer, we have the capacity to create linkages between different sources of information or render the invisible forces that effect built environments. The project uses this research scenerio of informal Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon, to provide an example as to how foreign designers can highlight complex issues and use our skills to create more responsive immediate design strategies.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International