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A Sense of Place for the Displaced

Part 1 Dissertation 2019
Lou-Elena Bouey
Central Saint Martins, UAL | UK
As the Syrian conflict enters its ninth year, interrogating the role of spatial practices in refugee camps seems more essential than ever.

Exploring the dialectics of the refugee crisis and its temporality, this essay aims to shed light on the incredible social, economic and cultural resources that a selected number of Syrian camps have become, beacons of resilience against spatial agencies of restriction and containment. From small scale gardening and makeshift fountains to the organisation of neighbourhoods and markets, every spatial gesture in the camp embodies a set of principles and tells stories about the role of architecture within the creation of place and participatory urbanism.

This dissertation suggests a different reading of an issue that has been, perhaps willingly, unaddressed as a spatial one - not seeking to offer final solutions, but rather to open up a discussion about camp planning, alternative visions on citizenship and placemaking, and the tools that architecture has to offer to ease the distress of thousands held in a state of stillness and disconnect within the barbed wires of the camp.

Lou-Elena Bouey

Shumi Bose
Oscar Brito
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