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3D Printed Refugee Town

Part 2 Project 2011
Paul Watt
Birmingham City University, UK
This project is a 3D printed educational and social buffer between the people of Stoke-on-Trent and incoming refugees.

The UK government is cutting spending by £100 million in Stoke-on-Trent over the next three years, but the government is being forced to increase foreign aid spending by £1.4 billion due to rising UN targets. This project creates a solution for spending foreign aid, which can directly affect the people of Stoke-on-Trent and global refugees, within UK shores by creating a global school for 3D printing.

The project celebrates the arrival of large automated digital fabrication; the Contour Crafter, a machine that will change the face of foreign aid, as refugee ‘Towns’ will be ‘Printed’ within days, not years. Local Businesses will educate up to 10,000 refugees over a three-year period. Teaching refugees to provide and support themselves using the contour crafter to 3D print fully customized consumer goods, creating novel businesses and social attractions, which will entice consumers and visitors to engage in Stokes deprived economy.

Avoiding violence between the ethnic groups and promoting a harmonized community, requires equally accommodating for all users and therefore the architectural philosophy is based on cross programming the efficiency of the contour crafter machines with the equality and multiculturalism of the refugees and people of Stoke.

As a buffer between different cultures, inequality becomes a question of perception, and therefore it is important for meaning to be generated by the users of the space. As globally recognized geography the mountain identifies the meeting of two tectonic plates, forcing new form from below into the sky, often providing spectacle and creating protection between borders. As the form of the project clusters and swells with denser accommodation the mountain analogy applies to the architecture of the project, continuing into the facade like the face of a mountain, facades can be walked across, whilst efficient routes are carved within, like those of rail cuts through mountains. The mountain analogy instills a global unified identity to the project that is both universally recognized and unbiased to incoming cultures.

Paul Watt


Mr Kevin W Singh

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