AMONG STRANGERS

I myself was a refugee after World War II, like everybody else. But that time refugees were treated with sympathy, even with compassion, different from today...
Maybe powerful communities and states were formed by refugees: ancient Rome, theUS or Israel.
Refugees are inventive, they are trending to create their place. They have to be helped by the laws.
Mobile architecture was not invented for immigrants, but it fits for them. By the way, in a certain sense, young generations are themselves immigrants to existing societies.
Space-chain technique is adapted for immigrants' housing, it can be improvised by themselves.
I tried it myself in India.
As for urban planning, shantytowns are often better working than shisticated abstract design. Refugees bring us valuable innovations, if they get offered the right framework.

My personal conviction is that social problems are mainly individual. Handling them statistically is pure opportunism. Administrations do it.

To solve individual problems there is the necessity of an infrastructure, a frame within the individual can freely act. For refugees, perhaps, it could be to prepare nuclei for new "refugee cities" . As I mentioned, Ancient Rome started thus. There are many examples, in the Americas, and, more modern, in Israel.
For such cities the principles of "mobile architecture" seem to be appropriate.

There is another aspect of the refugee problem: that of the "stranger". Instead of a highbrow paper on that complex, I prefer to express my feelings (and personal experience) in a sequence of drawings.

Please click on the image to go to the visual essay 

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Yona Friedman

Yona Friedman (b. 1923, Budapest) is a Hungarian-born French architect, urban planner and designer. He is best known for his theory of mobile architecture. Yona Friedman has been through the Second World War escaping the Nazi roundups and lived for about a decade in the city of Haifa in Israel before moving permanently to Paris in 1957. He became a French citizen in 1966.