Instance Cities: An Infrastructure of Hope for Berlin's Refugee Populations
Trigueiro, Stephen Nicholas
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Ragged tears in walls and roofs caused by bombs and gunfire exist in the memories of refugees. They carry their dead every day, and those fortunate enough to not know the death of a loved one, bear a looming sense of terror every time the phone rings or a family member cannot be reached. If we begin our understanding of this topic through the lens that Lebbeus Woods provided, we can understand that the refugee begins their journey as a dis-assemblage - A forceful removal from the places they call home, the situations that make up their individual daily rituals, and the people that love and support them. By acknowledging an individuality if experience it becomes clear that a single universal solution is an impossible dream when addressing the issues surrounding refugee dis-assemblage, migration and their subsequent re-assemblage in a new host country. Similarly, a singular territorialized architectural solution does little more than enhance the “Us and Them” mentality by providing a specialized response to a single group ofpeople. In response this thesis offers a system of infrastructural additions that act as an interface between refugee needs, bureaucratic requirements and societal expectations in order to enhance opportunities for successful re-assemblage in a host country. This thesis focuses on the challenges for re-assemblage refugees encounter in Berlin, Germany - A city with its own xenophobic baggage, but one with a history that includes policy change in order to accept a large Turkish workforce in the 1960s. Furthermore, this investigation examines the current bureaucratic system and how it handles asylum seekers. It will not try to undermine or ignore its functions, but instead provide a symbiont addition which can address the refugees needs as individuals, the German social apparatus as a collective set of needs and desires, and projects a hopeful future for these future Berliners as they reassemble in their new home. At its most base, this thesis proposes a theoretical framework focused on the bureaucratic, economic and social flows and blockages in Berlin to refugee integration. It discusses a method by which we can dissipate the force of these flows of people while not dismissing the pragmatics of governance, matters of economy, interest in preserving identity and trust of the host city and country. This approach increases porosity for migrant and refugee communities in Berlin. It does so from a position rooted in lived experience, placing emphasis on those on the ground in Berlin, opposed to empirical data that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
- Built environment