(IN)Formal Refuge

(IN)FORMAL REFUGE is a design and research project investigating transient settings hosting displaced communities.

The scheme explores the relation between the formal and informal spatial conditions resulted as a consequence of migration and tests the potential of an incremental design approach as a solution.

Project Overview  
The project is structured around two arrival settings: The Refugee Camp 
and The Arrival City. Both schemes aim to generate a safe refuge from
the moment of arrival to one of departure (Part I) and re-settlement (Part II).  

Project Motive  
 The process of displacement creates the arrival space often reflected in
the built environment as informal settlements. The also called urban slums,
barriadas or favelas are most of the time a space of conflict - from a
social to a political and spatial scale.

We are now living through the largest wave of human displacement.
70.8 million people are being displaced worldwide, out of whom 25.9 are refugees. 

The main migration journey into Europe relies on the Western, Central and
Eastern routes crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa and Turkey. 
This makes Spain, Italy and Greece key arrival countries.

The Eastern Mediterranean route places Greece at the
forefront of migration into Europe. 
A large number of arrival
hotspots are located in the Greek Islands of Samos, Chios and
Lesbos - the last one is the most popular arrival point.  

Lesbos Island was home to the largest refugee camp in
Europe - Moria (until Sept. 2020). 
Initially planned to host
3 000 people (2015), the camp was finally inhabited by 20 000
people (2020). 70% of the residents were living in the informal
camp side called The Jungle. Most of the displaced community
of Moria fled Afghanistan and Syria due to political conflicts.

Part I (IN)Formal Refuge: Rethinking the Refugee Camp
investigates the transient setting of refugee camps.
The test site of the scheme is the largest refugee camp in Europe - Moria

︎ See (IN)Formal Refuge: Re-thinking the Refugee Camp

Continuing on the journey of the displaced we arrive to
Turkey -  the first country worldwide hosting refugees.

Due to its close proximity to European land, Izmir City has a layered
history of hosting migrant and refugee communities.

Part II (IN)Formal Refuge: The Arrival City 
is part fo the Global project WHIT- Wellbeing, Housing and
Infrastructure in Turkey
aiming to define durable urban solutions
for low-income and displaced communities of Izmir, Turkey.

︎ See (IN)Formal Refuge: The Arrival City

Office of Displaced Designers | Lesbos Island, Greece
Umea University | Umea, Sweden
Yasar University | Izmir, Turkey
The London School of Architecture | London, UK