MArch Exhibition 2014 / Intimate Cities / In Limbo

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(15th – 26th June 2014)

In Limbo

– An Exploration of the Stagnant Urban Condition in Relation to Future Nomadic Drifting Trends

‘Following the end of transnational controls on free movement and access restrictions to the UK labor market, a high influx of Romani groups are expected to arrive and settle within British and implicitly, Mancunian territory. As the problem of spatial scarcity arises and the needs of the Roma community intensify, the city needs to develop an architectural language that will provide a sensible platform for their social and urban distribution.

 Drawing on dichotomies of spatial purity and impurity, on notions of boundary, transience and spatial justice, the scheme proposes a temporary structure that plugs into the existing site infrastructure – a contemporary Roma camp, aimed to provide the incoming community with a pre-defined set of architectural and spatial principles.

Overall, the focus on temporary, adaptable, shared spaces challenges the sedentary predisposition specific to Western architecture and its affinity towards grand, enduring structures. The approach is driven by the idea that architecture functions as an ideology in built form, that homes are more than just fixed dwellings, more than just sheltering devices: they are tools that enable the communities that use architecture to carve their identities and redefine visions of themselves.’

 

RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship Winner

I am glad to be back with excellent news! I have been recently awarded the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship for my proposal entitled:

‘On the Move: An Architectural Model Exploring Transportable and Improved Living Networks for Nomadic Communities’

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[Image available here]

The project aims to examine the relationship that nomadic people develop towards their natural and built environments and how this bond, expressed through mobile, domestic architecture, outlines a different understanding and appropriation of space than that developed by contemporary stagnant groups.

The study will focus on Europe’s fastest – growing minority: the Roma. Despite being present in Europe for centuries, Roma and Traveller groups continue to remain on the fringe of both Eastern and Western European societies, surrounded by boundaries that seek to physically force them apart from their neighboring communities.

Aiming to address this sensitive and highly debated social and spatial phenomenon, the study proposes the revival of the nomad caravan under the concept of a modular, structural network of pavilions that caters to the basic needs of the travelling community in terms of utilities and collective interaction. The focus will lie on the design of a self-sustaining architectural organism on wheels, a nomad village that can adapt and reconfigure itself according to the available environmental resources, while providing a robust structural framework, drafted in accordance with the Roma aesthetic outlines.

Additionally, the research envisages the rethinking of key concepts at the core of architectural theory and design. The focus on temporary, adaptable, shared spaces challenges the sedentary predisposition specific to Western architecture and its affinity towards grand, enduring structures. Laura’s approach is driven by the idea that architecture functions as an ideology in built form, that homes are more than just fixed dwellings, more than just sheltering devices: they are tools that enable the communities that use architecture to carve their identities and redefine visions of themselves and their collective subconscious.

The main objectives are:

  • to better understand the architectural/spatial needs of Roma within their current living situations;
  • to identify and analyze temporary forms of habitation which exist in several Roma camps across Romania;
  • to encourage the implementation of sustainable and inclusive nomadic housing solutions tailored to Roma people needs, preserving their cultural diversity and creativity;
  • to encourage intercultural dialogue and active inclusion of Roma within the European Social and Urban space;
  • to enable non-Roma to become familiarized with the European character of Roma culture

For more information, please visit the RIBA website.