PROJECT NAME : Container

TUTOR: Shahram Agaajani

PARTICIPANTS: Elverum Petter, Ezzwai Hashem, Mambrini Federica, Roth Natacha, Valerius Lola


The word ‘refugee’. With all the unfortunate events that have been happening around the globe, this word tends to be used in a relatively negative connotation in our society, when every day we learn about illegal immigration, people of different cultures and religions. We want to talk about the positive side of immigration and integration as a two-way street.
The whole planet has been facing this reality of great number of people leaving their homes and searching for a new place. As architects, we are confronted with the problem of emergency and the question is do we need architecture of emergency or should we focus on the emergency of architectural response?
This is why our approach has been very straight forward and realistic. In our opinion, the shipping containers have a very symbolic meaning. On the one hand, these containers are used every day to hide people which are fleeing overseas. And once they reach their ‘destination’ they will use them for staying or waiting for months, and sometimes even years. On the other hand, these same containers symbolize transportation of goods which will ‘feed’ our consumerist society. Our idea was to extend the process of importing to culture, knowledge, education, skills, etc.

PROJECT NAME : Migration Poetics

TUTOR: Philippe Nathan

PARTICIPANTS: Alaa Ali Alquarashi, Beatriz Klettner Soler, Chloé Coninckx, Diana Zambelloni, Sacha Lorand


«Migration poetics» is an attempt at understanding, defining and embracing the diversity of the migration phenomena in order to pro-actively generate new typologies of architecture for contemporary society. Today’s inability to react properly, asks for tomorrows capacity to anticipate poetically.
The studio investigated, through a condensed brainstorm and research, the definitions, uses and contexts of the word “migration”. By re-defining the word and confronting it with contemporary society in real or generic sites, urgencies and opportunities arise for new typologies of spaces and/or architecture. Radical spatial concepts rather than architectural projects, the studio focused on creating new experiences, uses and relations generated by the phenomena of migration. Due to current events, we wrongly narrow down our definition of migration to the refugee crisis and questions of their integration into western societies. Not only is this assumption all too often blending out the necessary semiotic debate on integration vs. inclusion, but foremost short-cutting a holistic understanding of the various phenomena and types of migration with their specific temporalities, and thus, their materialization(s) in space.
The studio aimed at defining a larger scope of migration through types, reasons and temporalities. Through this far-fetched compilation, a wider understanding of the contemporary social and cultural urgencies and conditions can be obtained, and architectural answers given. The ambition of the studio has been the generation of new typologies on various scales, new species of architecture, enhancing our daily surroundings by (preemptively) answering to specific conditions of migration. Luxembourg served merely as a case-study, yet with a rich and stimulating scope of investigation and speculation.

PROJECT NAME : Liquid Empire: Margin’s Europe

TUTOR: Can Onaner

PARTICIPANTS: Joséphine Delignies, Anna Valentiny and Alexandra Badea


Our approach, situated between utopia and dystopia, proposes to imagine a future in the context of international migration as well as the resulting refugee crisis. By putting our focus on the physical and symbolic meaning of borders, we developed a narrative of a new possible organization of the European land: a new Europe shaped by the migration flows of excluded people. The starting point of this narration is the paradox of an immobilized mobility: the buffer zone.
In the context of the ongoing tensions amongst European countries on refugees, buffer zones correspond to the zones where people considered as unwelcome by nations are relegated. The “Jungle” in Calais is the most flagrant example of a population banned at the country border which has become a buffer zone between two nations. The border is no longer a plain legal line nor an impenetrable wall, but rather a space in its own: autonomous, hanging between two separate worlds, even with an unstable legal status. On another scale, we can state that the whole Turkish territory is being used today by the European nations as a huge buffer zone to enclose the refugees that are not welcome on European public areas. Indeed, it seems plausible to predict that these buffer zones will continue to widen on the continent, surrounded by nations-states that will shrink more and more. Given the admission of failure and incapacity of the public European bodies, it is now up to the civil society to stand as a guarantor of the human rights for which the Member-States did not assume any responsibility. It is in this context that the refugees and local dissidents will try to join forces in the fight. The social conflicts – internal to occidental societies – will inevitably find a common ground within the refugees’ struggle for a new and better existence.
Supported by this convergence principle, the buffer zones that are located at the intra-European borders will then communicate with each other and constitute a continuous space: a complex and dense network on the whole European continent and yet linked to Africa and the Middle-East. This network consisting of refugees, European dissidents and migrants coming from around the world, will become an independent always changing system that will leave traces on the territories crossed. The European land will be modified by this liquid empire which –depending on the location – will either divide the existing nations or re-create larger preexisting entities. What it originally looked like a marginal outlying area will gradually become central. The marginal will become the standard transforming the ageing European States which will turn into floating islands in the middle of an ocean consisting of refugees, dissidents and migrants pushing back the borders of their spaces due to their vital power. The island countries will be nothing but ancient relics, “nursing homes” for exhausted people, recreation parks sporadically invaded by the new liquid empire.



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