Architecture students build latticed-wood community centre in German refugee camp

Architecture students from Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern have built this wooden community centre for a refugee camp in Mannheim, which is fronted by a latticed screen. The pavilion, designed by students Sandra Gressung, Sascha Ritschel and Tobias Vogel, provides a sheltered communal area for refugees arriving in the camp located on the former US Army’s Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim. Eighteen students from

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“Poverty should never be an Instagram filter”

Iwan Baan’s arresting images of the Kenyan school built by architect duo Selgascano are a typical example of the slum porn that has infiltrated western media, argues Phineas Harper in his latest Opinion column. As a racist president settles into a newly gold-curtained Oval Office and a wave of xenophobia sweeps Europe, dramatic racial inequality has

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Humanitarian experts propose turning refugee camps into enterprise zones called “refugee cities”

Refugee camps should be rebadged as cities and turned into enterprise zones so inhabitants can set up businesses and build their own infrastructure, according to a new report. Called Refugee Cities, the report argues that existing aid strategies have failed, with refugees preferring to avoid the camps due to the lack of opportunities they offer.

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IKEA Foundation CEO says adapting refugee shelter is “like playing with Lego”

Better Shelter is the latest IKEA product to be hacked, according to the head of the company’s charitable foundation, who told Dezeen the modular refugee cabin is now being used to create doctors’ surgeries and schools. The IKEA Foundation launched its flat-pack emergency shelter back in 2013 to offer an alternative to the tents often used to house refugees

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Renzo Piano to lead recovery plan following Italian earthquake

Architect Renzo Piano has been called upon to lead reconstruction efforts in towns left devastated by the earthquake that struck central Italy last week, and to mitigate against future disasters. Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi asked Piano, 78, to play a leading role in the reconstruction of the towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, after they were hit More

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Architecture for Humanity founders sued for $3 million

The founders and board members of non-profit organisation Architecture for Humanity, which filed for bankruptcy last year, are being sued for the alleged misuse of donations. A trustee appointed by the United States Bankruptcy Court is seeking $3 million in damages from Architecture for Humanity (AFH) founders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, and 10 members More

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Kunlé Adeyemi docks Makoko Floating School at the Venice Biennale

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016: Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi has been awarded the Silver Lion for bringing his floating school to the Venice Biennale, as part of his ongoing research into building for flood-prone regions (+ slideshow). Adeyemi and his studio NLÉ developed an “improved, prefabricated and industrialised iteration” of the Makoko Floating School in Lagos, Nigeria, adapting its engineering to suit the More

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Norman Foster reveals vaulted Droneport prototype at Venice Architecture Biennale

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016: Foster + Partners has unveiled the first full-scale prototype of its Droneport concept at the Arsenale, which is designed to transport medical supplies to remote regions in Africa using unmanned flying vehicles (+ slideshow). The structure is the inaugural project from the Norman Foster Foundation, set up by the British architect to anticipate technological advances More

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Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform creates mobile workshops for world’s largest e-waste dump

A team of architects have launched an initiative to build a network of “makerspace” structures at Agbogbloshie, Ghana – the world’s largest dumping site for electronic waste (photos by Julien Lanoo + slideshow). Low Design Office founder DK Osseo-Asare and French architect Yasmine Abbas began the Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP) to demonstrate the potential of More

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MoMA’s Insecurities exhibition to address the global refugee crisis

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has announced an exhibition of projects that aim to tackle the issue of shelter for migration and global refugee emergencies. This autumn, Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter will bring together examples of art, architecture and design works at a range of scales, which all focus on the topical subject More

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Freestanding roof spans Haiti orphanage by Bonaventura Visconti di Modrone

The zigzagging roof of this orphanage in Haiti is independent of its walls, allowing breezes to permeate the building and offer relief from the hot climate, as well as providing earthquake resistance (+ slideshow). The 400-square-metre complex designed by Milanese architect Bonaventura Visconti di Modrone provides housing for 30 previously homeless children in the village of Anse-à-Pitres. Commissioned by the NGO Ayitimoun Yo, More

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Shigeru Ban joins disaster relief effort following Ecuador earthquake

Shigeru Ban has travelled to Ecuador to help with disaster relief, following a major earthquake that has caused the death of over 650 people. Ban – who was previously worked on disaster recovery projects all around the world – arrived in the South American republic earlier this week to offer his support. According to the College of Architects of Ecuador Provincial More

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Architects for Society designs low-cost hexagonal shelters for refugees

Minnesota-based Architects for Society has developed a prototype for a rapidly deployable dwelling that could house victims of catastrophic events (+ slideshow). Called the Hex House, the 431-square-foot (40-square-metre) unit is largely made of steel-and-foam Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which can be flat-packed and delivered by truck to a building site. The design is meant to More

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Alejandro Aravena makes housing designs available to the public for free

Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, this year’s Pritzker Prize winner, is releasing a number of his residential designs as an open-source resource to help tackle the global affordable housing crisis. Aravena’s firm, Elemental, has posted drawings for four of its low-cost “incremental” housing projects on its website for free download. The aim is to provide the material More

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Architecture for Humanity relaunches as Open Architecture Collaborative

Following the bankruptcy and collapse of Architecture for Humanity in 2015, local chapters have banded together to create a new organisation called Open Architecture Collaborative (+ movie). More than 30 chapters in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa have ground together to form the new organisation, which pledges to pursue community engagement through design. The group’s More

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“The architectural community cannot remain apathetic to Calais’ Jungle and the refugee crisis”

Opinion: last week, local authorities in Calais began destroying sections of the Jungle – the sprawling refugee and migrant camp that has become a symbol of Europe’s immigration crisis. It’s time that architects stepped in to help provide a solution that actually works, says architect Jeannie S Lee, who visited the camp with her London More

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Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport to become Germany’s largest refugee camp

Berlin is to extend the refugee camp at the decommissioned Tempelhof Airport, making room for 7,000 people in and around one of the German capital’s most iconic buildings. The city’s government has changed a law to allow extra refugee shelters to be built on a section of Tempelhof’s vast airfield – which has previously been used to More

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Minority Report designer Alex McDowell applies filmmaking techniques to refugee-camp design

Design Indaba 2016: a design technique used on feature films including Minority Report, The Terminal and Man of Steel is being applied to refugee camps in an attempt to develop more human-centric settlements. Production designer Alex McDowell is exploring how the “World Building” technique he developed while working on Hollywood movies could be used to develop More

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Architects have no moral obligation to society says Alejandro Aravena

Socially minded architecture is a choice not a responsibility according this year’s Venice Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena, who has called for “professional quality, not professional charity” to deal with the world’s issues. As director of Chilean firm Elemental, Aravena has committed much of his career to tackling the housing crisis, by engaging local communities in a radical reinvention More

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SelgasCano’s Louisiana Pavilion to be reused as a school in Kenya’s Kibera slum

A pavilion designed by architects SelgasCano for a Copenhagen art museum is being transported to a Nairobi slum, where it will serve as a school for 600 pupils (+ slideshow). The Louisiana Hamlet Pavilion has been packed in shipping containers and is on its way to Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa, where it will More

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RIBA’s Creation from Catastrophe exhibition showcases the world’s best disaster-relief projects

A new exhibition about radical projects to rebuild communities in the aftermath of disasters points to the “changing role of architects in society”, says its curator (+ slideshow). Creation from Catastrophe at London’s Royal Institute of British Architects focuses on the way cities and communities have been reimagined by architects in the aftermath of natural and manmade disasters. Curator Jes Fernie More

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“Architects have a duty to do good things” says Ron Arad

Conflict areas like the West Bank offer opportunities for architects to combine their design ambitions with a desire to make a difference in the world, according to Ron Arad (+ interview). The London-based Israeli designer has just unveiled plans to build a cancer treatment centre in northern Israel, which will serve Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze communities in More

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SHoP designs schools for earthquake-ravaged areas of Nepal

SHoP Architects has partnered with two nonprofit organisations to rebuild 50 public schools in areas of Nepal that were devastated by the April 2015 earthquake (+ slideshow). The New York-based firm has teamed up with Kids of Kathmandu and Asia Friendship Network for the project, with construction of the first two schools slated to begin More

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Refugee tents are a waste of money, says Alejandro Aravena

Tents are a quick response to the need for emergency shelter, but “it’s money that melts” says Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 director Alejandro Aravena. Investing in less temporary disaster-relief shelters should be seen as “payment in advance” for a long-term solution to the world’s housing shortages, said the Chilean architect and founder of architecture studio […]

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New Pinterest board: humanitarian architecture

Refugee camps are the “cities of tomorrow”, according to one of the world’s leading aid experts. Explore more approaches to humanitarian architecture on our new Pinterest board, including Ikea’s “unusually sensitive” flat-pack shelters and an earthquake-resistant school in Thailand. Follow Dezeen on Pinterest | See the latest examples of humanitarian architecture in our archives

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Refugee camps are the “cities of tomorrow”, says humanitarian-aid expert

Governments should stop thinking about refugee camps as temporary places, says Kilian Kleinschmidt, one of the world’s leading authorities on humanitarian aid (+ interview). “These are the cities of tomorrow,” said Kleinschmidt of Europe’s rapidly expanding refugee camps. “The average stay today in a camp is 17 years. That’s a generation.” “In the Middle East, […]

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Jun Sekino replaces earthquake-damaged school in Thailand with stilted classrooms

Bangkok-based architect Jun Sekino designed these elevated classrooms in northern Thailand in response to a severe earthquake, which destroyed the school’s original building (+ slideshow). The earthquake struck Chiang Rai Province in May 2014, ruining 73 schools and leaving over 2,000 students without classrooms. A programme was set up by charity Design for Disasters (D4D) to build nine […]

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Earthquake-resistant school in Thailand raised up on stilts by Vin Varavarn Architects

Built in the wake of an earthquake, this secondary school in northern Thailand by Vin Varavarn Architects is shaped like a roof and raised above the ground on metal stilts (+ slideshow). A severe earthquake hit the Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand in May 2014, destroying 73 schools and displacing over 2,000 students. Disaster-relief charity Design for Disasters responded by launching […]

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Annabelle Selldorf designs new primary school for rural Zambia

A New York-based nonprofit organisation has commissioned Selldorf Architects to design an elementary school for a remote village in southern Zambia. The Mwabwnido School is being funded by 14+ Foundation, a charity that aims to build and operate schools and orphanages in rural African communities. Slated to break ground in 2016, the facility will be […]

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Rural Urban Framework awarded Curry Stone Design Prize at Chicago Architecture Biennial

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Hong Kong design and research group Rural Urban Framework has been awarded the 2015 Curry Stone Design Prize for humanitarian architecture (+ slideshow). The non-profit company was presented with the $100,000 (£66,117) award during a ceremony ahead of the official opening of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. Related story: Rural Urban Framework […]

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US firm announces plans to open “the Bauhaus of Africa”

MASS Design Group, a nonprofit US firm, plans to start an architecture and design training centre in Kigali, Rwanda, to help address the “dearth of professional designers” across Africa (+ movie). MASS, which has offices in Boston and Kigali, will announce its plans for the new African Design Center at the United Nations Solutions Summit on […]

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Foster reveals plans for Rwandan Droneport to deliver medical supplies in remote areas

Foster + Partners has unveiled designs for a drone port in Rwanda, which will be used to transport urgent medical supplies to remote parts of the East African country via unmanned flying vehicles (+ slideshow). Foster + Partners are working with technology company Afrotech on the Droneport project, which will see its pilot scheme completed in Rwanda by 2020. […]

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SURI modular housing system provides emergency shelter for refugees

This adaptable shelter system is providing temporary housing for refugees displaced by conflict in their home countries. Designed by building initiative Suricatta Systems, the Shelter Unit for Rapid Installation (SURI) is both easy to transport and assemble, while still functioning as a comfortable habitat for individuals and families. Originally designed to provide shelter after earthquakes, the system […]

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“When I said architects should get involved in humanitarian issues, people laughed at me”

Exclusive interview: Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair describes the work he is conducting in Syria with his latest venture, and tells Dezeen that he’ll “die happy” knowing that he will never win the Pritzker Prize (+ transcript). Sinclair, 41, is a self-branded pioneer of a “new wave of humanitarian design” and has dedicated his […]

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Casa Rana is a colourful foster home in India for HIV-positive children

A bamboo screen surrounds the five colourful volumes that make up this foster home for 15 HIV-positive children in a village in India (+ slideshow). Named Casa Rana, the project is the result of a partnership between Italian non-profit architecture studio Made in Earth and Indian children’s charity Terre des Hommes Core Trust. The foster home is […]

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