Documenting the Spatial Practices of Global Migration



Event: The Spatial Impact Of Forced Migration: Implications For Urban Scholarship And Practice

Category : EVENT 01/22/2016

Friday, February 5, 2016 1:00pm
Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation
Ware Lounge
How can architects, planners and designers respond to the global refugee crisis?

Marianne Potvin, Harvard University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences.
Jesse Coburn, Journalist and Student of Journalism and European Studies at NYU
Nora Akawi, Director Studio X Amman
Response by Joyce Rosenthal, Kaja Kühl, and Laura Lieto


With over 60 million displaced people in the world – a rate higher than ever since World War II — our understanding of territory, nation-state and borders is being challenged increasingly by this forced mobility. The life-threatening journey that many undertake to seek refuge from conflict and disaster question our political mechanisms of inclusion or exclusion and challenge our commitment to human rights in the places of arrival and transit. As nation-states are grappling with a shifting order, cities and local governments across the world are being confronted with this new reality. While refugee camps increasingly become permanent makeshift cities, arrival cities develop temporary shelter as opposed to permanent resettlement. This dialogue will explore the role that architects, planners and urban designers and especially universities can play in designing the local aspects of this global flow in places of arrival and transit.

marianneMarianne Potvin discussing the changing geographies of refuge

jesseJesse Coburn presenting repurposed “Plattenbau” -prefabricated modernist housing used as refugee camps 

noraNora Akawi presenting work from the GSAPP seminar “Echoing Borders”

discussionDiscussion with Kaja Kühl, Nora Akawi, Lauren Jerry, Harrison Buch, Jesse Coburn and Marianne Potvin


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