The Architecture of Displacement

Robert Mull

    Research output: Other contribution


    The Architecture of Displacement is a multi-component output comprising a set of masterplans, informal architectural designs and collaboratively built structures, co-designed with refugee communities, volunteers and students, realised primarily in Basmane in the city of Izmir, Turkey; informal farm camps around Torbali, Izmir Province; and Pikpa and Moria Camps, Lesvos, Greece. The designs and structures both embody and represent new forms of understanding of refugee place-making practices, cultural identities and appropriate forms of architectural response.

    The output constitutes an alternative form of architectural and urban practice that directly challenges the practices deployed by larger NGOs and state actors, which involve externally imposed architectural solutions and structures that take little account of refugee identities and cultures. The research asks questions about how displaced populations establish and maintain their identity whilst in transit. Working directly with refugee communities, and the architects and architectural students of the Global Free Unit, of which he was a founder, Mull uses online and face to face participatory processes and methods including co-designed drawing, model making, design development and master planning. Practice-based approaches and participatory methods are used to generate and communicate distinct new insights and knowledge into the ways displaced people use architectural and cultural strategies to maintain their culture and wellbeing in informal camps and host communities within the global refugee crisis.

    The insights and knowledges that have arisen from the research have been further developed through work in a range of other settings and shared in publications and through Mull’s curation of and contributions to exhibitions and events including the 2016 Papers Exhibition, Barbican, London, the 2016 Festival of Love, South Bank, London, the 2019 Oslo Architecture Triennale and the Korean Pavilion at the delayed 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale.
    Original languageEnglish
    TypeCollaborative architectural designs and built structures
    PublisherCollaborative architectural designs and built structures
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Architecture of Displacement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this