Icon 141: Camps 30.01.15

  • Syrian refugee camps: Life in Zaatari, the camp in Jordan where thousands of Syrian refugees have made their home since 2012

  • Designing protest: How demonstrators in Washington, Istanbul and Hong Kong organised their camps for effective resistance

  • Gulf labour: The architect’s role in providing for the welfare of construction workers remains a touchy subject

  • Marwan Tahtah: Hoardings advertising luxury are recast as shelters in the Syrian refugee camps of north Lebanon

Our March issue, available from 1 February, asks what architects could do to alleviate the suffering of refugees in Syria and migrant workers in the Gulf states, as well as examining the role of design in the building of protest camps

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Since the civil war began in 2011, 6.5 million Syrians have been internally displaced, and about 3 million refugees have fled the country, mostly to neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. It's the biggest wave of migration since the Second World War. Germany has pledged to take 30,000 refugees; Britain only 90; Israel, though it shares a border with Syria, none.

Icon visits Za'atari, one of the sprawling refugee camps near the Jordanian border – it's the second largest in the world, a temporary city that was set up in only two weeks. Some 200,000 refugees have made a home here, customising the UN's caravans and tents to better purpose, and creating a resourceful community in the desert. Icon looks at the fragile infrastructure needed to maintain such a place, and at what it's like to live there.

The conflict has raged for four years and – as opposition leaders in Syria threaten to boycott planned peace talks in Moscow – there are little signs of resolution, a fact not lost on the refugees' host countries. Despite the creative, entrepreneurial spirit exhibited by camp dwellers, which belies the images that usually accompany financial appeals for help, there is a tremendous strain on resources, especially as a harsh winter descends on the Middle East.

Icon encourages its readers to help alleviate the worsening situation by joining us in donating to Unicef's Syria Appeal at unicef.org.uk/Donate-Syria. Every pound you give will be matched by the UK government.

Scroll down to see the contents of the March issue

 

Words

Christopher Turner

 

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Some 200,000 refugees have made a home in Za'atari, customising the UN's caravans and tents to better purpose, and creating a resourceful community in the desert

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IN THIS ISSUE

Syrian refugee camps Life in Za'atari, the camp in Jordan where thousands of Syrian refugees have made their home since 2012

Designing protest How demonstrators in Washington, Istanbul and Hong Kong organised their camps for effective resistance

Gulf labour The architect's role in providing for the welfare of construction workers remains a touchy subject

Marwan Tahtah Hoardings advertising luxury are recast as shelters in the Syrian refugee camps of north Lebanon

PLUS

The crashing forms of Coop Himmelb(l)au's cultural museum in Lyon, a Beirut design initiative that supports emerging talent, Maria Jeglinska in her Warsaw studio, Grimshaw's Manhattan transport hub, Dinesen's Copenhagen showroom by studio OeO, JDS's staggered "officetel" in Seoul, a hotel that camouflages with the forests in southwest Sweden, and previews of Stockholm Furniture Fair and Design Shanghai

Reviews Arts & Architecture revived, Victor Papanek's dreamspace, a macabre tale set in a furniture megastore and a retrospective of Team 10 East

Rethink Instruct's design for political transparency
Icon of the Month The blue tarpaulin
Five Most Wanted Peter Griffith's favourite objects
Crimes Against Design The selfie stick
Sketchbook Grimshaw Architects

   

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