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The aim of the project is to show how architecture and its strategies can provide an alternative to the people forced to move, that is, to build a lifeline across the Mediterranean for those who are fleeing from Syria's war. We conceive architecture on its performative dimension, providing transportable learning and tech as key resources for local economies and industries. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the busiest traffic areas in the world for passengers and cargo. It is our aim to test our ability to distribute not just goods or persons, but production methodologies and architecture as humanitarian aid.
Barcelona becomes a perfect setting to this aim: the economic strength of the city is built on trade and tourism due to its strategic enclave and cultural heritage, representing the Mediterranean lifestyle. The installation prepares a place near the sea for a new discourse on the migration / inequality contemporary conflict. It is not a residence, but a challenge to be more aware, more sensitive and hopefully moved to make a difference.
Pla de Palau has been chosen for its relevance as an historical display of the maritime commerce authorities’ power, but also considering the new busy thoroughfare condition of this urban square. Representative and symbolic issues play a significant role in the project. There is need for architectural projects addressing to the global dimensions of today’s challenges and investigating how human activity changes the world. Building as a performative act means images taking position and raising awareness to encourage the creative potential of the people.
Our way of thinking about architecture might change: we can turn the urban signification areas, institutions or busy squares into opportunity spaces for emotion and unveiling. There is a need to incorporate new values into the architectural language, go beyond and transform it into a learning device. Refugees receive not only asylum, but also training in constructive skills and tools in order to build by their own.
After the war ended, the scaffolding structure and shelters will be packed into sea containers and shipped to support Syria's reconstruction. Is it true that a conventional housing project could accommodate a larger number of refugees with less cost? For sure. If necessary, we could build once again and repeat the housing strategies of the 60s in the peripheries of the great European cities, able to relocate large population masses of the countries in need.
Perhaps the challenge is to raise awareness about the importance of providing support and revolutionary background to the forced migrants, occupying public spaces and creating new humanitarian aid structures. There is need to stop this avalanche of ‘ten second news’, rapidly ignored in our antisocial existence, isolated from any sense of community. This great scaffolding installation wants to be more than just a building, but a manifesto against the crime of war, here in the city centre of Barcelona. No aesthetics without ethics ▪
People in Motion: In-Transit Architecture for New Production Backgrounds
Mónica Sambade Martínez (Spain)
Barcelona School of Architecture
UNESCO-UIA & MIDO Student Design Prize for Responsible Architecture: 3 awarded schools see competition
3rd Prize
Jury quotations

For the dealing with social and cultural problems by architectural and engineering means, proposing a scalable design solution.