#ArchiTalks #24 House or Home? #RefugeeCrisis @GrainneHassett mentioned

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series where a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. The Topic ‘Leader’ for this post ‘House or Home’ is Keith Palma.

House or home?

OK let’s start this post with a definition. This is from The Cambridge Dictionary (English Grammar Today):

1. We use the noun house to refer to a building

2. We use home in a more personal and emotional way to refer to where someone lives

But ‘house’ is also a verb – we can house someone:

1. house somebody to provide a place for somebody to live
The government is committed to housing the refugees. (http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com)

There, it’s even in the definition – housing refugees.

The level of displaced people due to wars and persecution is at critical point “more people from their homes than at any time since UNHCR records began” (Link & data HERE).

65.3 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015.

This is a crisis like no other and it effects the entire world.

I was at the RIAI 2016 Conference where Grainne Hassett spoke of her incredibly moving work at the Calais Refugee Camp, “one of the most beautiful and one of the most awful places I have ever been.” Grainne offered disturbing insight into that “place of ten thousand people … (with) over 1,000 children on their own.” Responding briefly from the floor.

Some of these refugees (from Syria) are now being ‘housed’ in a disused hotel in a local town (Details in Irish Times article HERE).

So let’s remember what is happening:

• Syria’s civil war has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes. (https://www.mercycorps.org/articles/iraq-jordan-lebanon-syria-turkey/quick-facts-what-you-need-know-about-syria-crisis)

• Those that have fled have done so with very few belongings

• Those lucky enough to have fled to safety now need to build new lives and new homes.

This is no easy task. I’m not going to go into details about the complexities of settling refugees into a foreign society or how what we should do to make them welcome – which they are.

Instead the challenge for those ‘housing’ refugees is perhaps to change ‘housing’ to ‘homing’. Perhaps architects and designers need to get involved in helping convert standard hotel bedrooms into something that can be personalised and become more like a ‘home’?

responsive environments

The faithful readers will know my background (at Oxford Brookes), their Urban Design unit and the ‘Bible’ – Responsive Environments we worked to by Sue McGlynn (Author), Graham Smith (Author), Alan Alcock (Author), Paul Murrain (Author), Ian Bentley (Editor); I’ve written copiously about this book previously (search in the top right for Responsive Environments) and interestingly they have a specific chapter on this ‘Personalisation’ that can turn a house into a home. Below is one page (among many) from the book on this subject:

So I urge those responsible for ‘homing‘ our new guests – think carefully about the design and opportunities for personalisation in order that, housing can become homes.

To read how the other ‘blogging architects’ have interpreted this theme click the links below – I’ve posted mine early due to time differences and I’ll update this list as they come on line:

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
The Designation between House and Home


Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
The Designation between House and Home

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: House or Home?

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
House or Home? The Answer to Everything

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
our house is home

Mark R. LePage – EntreArchitect (@EntreArchitect)
Emotional Marketing for Architects: House or Home?

Evan Troxel – Archispeak Podcast / TRXL (@etroxel)

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
House or Home? It’s in the story.

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
House or Home? A Choice of Terms

Cormac Phalen – Cormac Phalen (@archy_type)

Nicholas Renard – Renard Architecture (@dig-arch)

Andrew Hawkins, AIA – Hawkins Architecture, Inc. (@hawkinsarch)

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
house or home: #architalks

Jes Stafford – MODwelling (@modarchitect)

Cindy Black – Rick & Cindy Black Architects (*)

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
House or Home — Discover the Difference

Rosa Sheng – EquitybyDesign [EQxD] (@EquityxDesign)

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“house” or “home”?

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks #24 : House or Home

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
House or Home? – Depends

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
House or Home? Train for One, Design for Another

Jonathan Brown – Proto-Architecture (@mondo_tiki_man)

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)

Brinn Miracle – Architangent (@architangent)

David Molinaro – Relax2dmax (@relax2dmax)

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)

Daniel Beck – The Architect’s Checklist (@archchecklist)

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
A Rose by Any Other Name…

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@thatarchstudent)

Lindsey Rhoden – SPARC Design (@sparcdesignpc)

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
House or Home

Courtney Casburn Brett – Casburn Brett (@CasburnBrett)

Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Designing a House into a Home

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)

Samantha R. Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
6 Ways to Make your Architecture Studio feel like Home

Kyu Young Kim – J&K Atelier (@sokokyu)
Making a House a Home

Nisha Kandiah – ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Dwelling on a Macro scale

Karen E. Williams – (@karenewilliams3)

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
House or Home

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
I don’t design homes

Adam Denais – Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
House or Home: One’s a Place, the Other a Feeling.

Ken Saginario – Twelfth Street Studio ()

Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
Architalks – A House is not a home

11 thoughts on “#ArchiTalks #24 House or Home? #RefugeeCrisis @GrainneHassett mentioned

    1. Hi Collier Yup, it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, incredibly relevant and very moving that we all as designers need to think about


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