2016 - 2017

Agencies of Infrastructure

The project brief for the “Border Materialities” studio revolves around spaces that involve people living in diaspora i.e. immigrants and refugees. The following images are predominantly the work presented by our team in semester 2. This project revolves around the design of spaces in the Z’atri refugee camp in Jordan. We designed a scenario game to understand & simulate the working of the camp.

The Scenario Game:

Our scenario game was designed with the map of the Z’atri refugee camp as our baseboard, agent cards which represented the events that affected the characters and actor cards which contained the players’ descriptions (4th image below). The first player draws a random agent card and after all actors have reacted to the agent according to their personalities (by moving or spending money etc.), the next player draws another agent card and so on. Different actors lived in different areas of the camp (board).

The Model :

The scenario game had left us with thoughts on relationships between power and the creation of infrastructure. Our analysis of the camp showed that the NGO-made public “buildings” in the camp did not meet the needs & aspirations of the refugees. In order to visualize our understanding & to create solutions for collaboration, we made a physical model. (refer to last image below)

For us, this experiment raised many important questions - how could we efficiently assemble the spatial narrative of the camp (map) with the intangible narratives of it (power, privilege etc.)? How can we quantify privilege or power in order to account for it in design? However, the ultimate question was this - how do we operate under the current model of power relations in order to create spaces that would liberate people from this vicious cycle of privilege?