Architectural investigation of global refugee camps wins 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship
By Alexander Walter|
Thursday, Jun 25, 2020
The annual RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has selected the project Life Between Shelters: Refugee camps of today becoming cities of tomorrow by London School of Architecture student Iulia Cistelecan to receive £7,000, nearly US$8,700, in support.
The scholarship enables Iulia to travel to four refugee camps across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East — Bidibidi (Uganda), Zaatari (Jordan), Shatila (Lebanon), and Kutupalong (Bangladesh) — to examine "the role that architecture can play in transforming today’s refugee camps into sustainable communities."
"Her research will investigate the spaces between shelters, with a focus on the transition from temporary refugee camp to sustainable city," explains RIBA's scholarship announcement. "Iulia will also be exploring the importance of educational and social infrastructure in building community growth and resilience."
"I was delighted by the high standard of the 48 applications which were received from nearly thirty countries," Norman Foster commented on the winning selection. "After much deliberation, the jury were unanimous in their choice of Iulia Cistelecan’s proposal as this year’s very worthy winner. The findings from her study on the permanent nature of refugee camps will be universally valuable as well as advancing her own career."
RIBA President Alan Jones added: "Iulia’s research promises to cover some of the most pressing matters of our time: the global refugee and climate crises. I am inspired to see Iulia — who represents the future of our profession — investigating architectural solutions to these complex issues [...]"
The 2020 scholarship jury included Norman Foster (Foster + Partners, Norman Foster Foundation); Elena Ochoa (Norman Foster Foundation); Farshid Moussavi (Farshid Moussavi Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Norman Foster Foundation); Nicky Watson (JDDK Architects, RIBA); and Victoria Simpson (dlg Architects, RIBA).
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