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architecture for refugees: Camping in the City

The “Architecture for Refugees” open source online platform collects and shares information and knowledge on the architectural aspects of the refugee crisis. Our platform aims to connect people willing to search for short- and long term solutions. Creating an open source pool of information and knowledge could enhance the collaboration between refugees, activists, professionals and politicians. As a result, effective and tangible answers could be given to the shelter- and infrastructural challenges refugees are facing. Besides the main impact of the platform the next step is much more ambitious: involvement and sustainable integration through architecture.

In our modern society information and the access to knowledge are key values. Providing useful and accessible information and connecting all the parties concerned – from politicians to refugees – would boost up the helping process. The online platform collects ideas, plans and best practices. We do not do projects, we give the opportunity to share ideas. These ideas alone may be weak but together they can have a huge impact.

The implementation of single ideas or plans are micro-interventions and have a remarkable effect on the local context. With the help of the platform these interventions will gain visibility and participants will feel empowered by being connected to each other. The transformation of these small interventions into a sustainable and large scale strategy depends on every party involved. The platform should be user-friendly, compatible with mobile devices, multilingual and should channel positive attitude.


The CAMPING users in Molignon are HAPPY! The FESTIVAL CAMPING users in Glastonbury are HAPPY! The CAMP users in Calais are NOT HAPPY!

Why are they not happy? What are the different architectural aspects in the above mentioned situations? HOW can ARCHITECTURE improve the third story to make the USERS also HAPPY?!

During the eme3 international architecture festival in Barcelona in 2016, we will raise questions and give potential answers on refugee architecture. We will think on a global scale and act on a local scale. We will involve as many stakeholders as possible to start the discussion. We will work as a community – architects and others – to think and act together. Collaboration and its tools will be our weapons to fight for the human rights and human dignity! Privacy and safe shelters, well functioning public infrastructure and their connecting network will be in the focus of our work.

Zsófia Glatz studied architecture and engineering at BME Hungary from 2001 to 2007. In 2007-2010 attended the DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) Doctorate School at the Department of Residential Building Design, BME. In 2010, with doctoral scholarship, she took part in the first semester of MAS Housing – Wohnforum at the ETH Zürich. In the same year she won the Junior Prima Prize Hungary in the field of Architecture. Since 2007 takes part in the education of the Department of Residential Building Design, since 2013 she coordinates the housing research course “Department Research”. She lives and works in Zürich since 2010. As independent researcher, makes analysis on cohousing in Switzerland and Hungary.


Bence Komlósi is an architect, researcher, educator and activist. He studied at the TU Budapest, ETSA Barcelona, and ETH Zürich. He is currently doing his doctoral research at the MOME Budapest on the topic “Bottom-up shared-flat cooperatives for a more sustainable and resilient housing future in Hungary”. He is a teaching assistant at the TU Budapest. Democracy, sustainability, co-design, co-housing and bottom-up movements stand in the focus of his daily work and life. Bence is the co-founder of the “Community Living – Közösségben Élni” NGO and the “dotlinearchitects” architecture office. He has worked on competitions and projects such as “Bouwkunde – TU Delft”, “EASA – Green Room”, ”Housing – Zürich” and “Zollhaus – Zürich”. He published in Hungarian and international magazines like TRANS and ERA21. He writes blogs on topics such as “co-housing”, “an architect’s life,” and “research methodologies”. He lives in Zürich, working on both local and international projects.




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