Art & future: the informal home

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Sanchez Leos, Miguel
De Brea, Ana
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Thesis (B. Arch.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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An architectural proposal in this era of war, disease and famine should seek to leverage technology to reclaim the future. Through this lens, the present-day displacement of Afghan refugees is an opportunity for rethinking the role of architecture in humanitarianism. The recovery of the Afghan community will depend upon quick-impact projects that target fundamental human needs such as housing, hygiene and rest. Contemporary approaches to refugee assistance are nonetheless undermined by the sociopolitical climate that is then reflected in the resulting built environment. Art, the application of human imagination and expression, can mitigate these impacts and provide collaborative spaces for recovery. Technology in recent years has also blurred the lines between physical and digital space. During the first year of the pandemic, the internet dictated human interactions on matters of safety and long-distance learning. This has resulted in the digital displacement of underprivileged populations with limited or unreliable internet access. The future, dependent on the continued existence of humanity, warrants this divide as equal grounds for change. This thesis analyzes both art& future to envision community-centric building methods that empower refugees. These will take the form of emergency shelter, supplemental communal spaces, and transitional housing. Improvisational and adaptable, these areas of refuge will seek to stabilize human existence in the biosphere so both can thrive.