Hej on World Refugee Day!
Today, on World Refugee Day, we would like to extend our thanks to our partners and the many persons we have the fortune to collaborate with and serve. At a time when conflict and persecution displace more people than at any time in 70 years, we all share a responsibility to come up with and provide better solutions and more effective means to benefit persons of concern. The Better Shelter team has been focusing much of its efforts on R&D this year, while we continue to support the implementation of shelters in the field.
Between 2010 and 2015 Better Shelter invented, prototyped and industrialised a new type of modular temporary shelter to provide a better home away from home for persons who have been forced to seek refuge in temporary camps. Since the second half of 2015 we have shipped shelters to humanitarian relief operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We have seen the shelter perform in different environments, climates and cultures. We have learned a lot about how it can be applied to different needs and purposes, but also how the design can be improved. Over the last 18 months we have evaluated and developed the shelter’s design further and we are now preparing for the launch of an updated version. This will feature the many properties that distinguish the Better Shelter yet offer improved safety and overall performance. We look forward to present it to our humanitarian partners soon, so make sure to look out for updates in forthcoming newsletters.
Refugee Food Festival
In observance of World Refugee Day, restaurants around Europe open their kitchen to refugee cooks this week, letting participants – cooks as well as guests – get together and meet over a delicious meal! The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has opened its restaurant for the festival, where guests can combine dinner with a visit to the exhibition Solution or utopia? Design for Refugees, which explores products and services developed for humanitarian response. More info about the Refugee Food Festival can be found here.
Shelter in displacement, Forced Migration Review (FMR) 55
The new issue of FMR, published by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, has been released online this month. It studies the complexity of approaches to shelter both as a physical object and as a process and response to basic human needs. Better Shelter has contributed with thoughts on the diversity in data needed to drive design and the challenges in retrieving user feedback. The Shelter in displacement issue can be accessed here.
Header image: Shaima Jassim in Al-Khadra Camp, Baghdad. © UNHCR/Ali Arkady