Just over a week into the WDCD Challenge we already see an incredible variety of different perspectives on issues regarding urban refugees. Just in is an idea that tries to combine food, social design and self-sufficiency. Three architecture students from Istanbul propose the following: a mobile communal kitchen that is easy to build and dismantle with (semi) open spaces for ‘agricultural beds’.
By Laurens Peek

In their sketches, a closed yard is located in the middle of the structure; this yard has a roof that can be opened or closed depending on the weather and the climate, thereby serving as either a greenhouse or an open yard where refugees (and perhaps locals) are able to cultivate crops. These are later used in the kitchen, which is located in another section of the structure.

According to the proposers, the materials used in the construction of the communal kitchen play an essential role. To reduce cost they should be easily and locally attainable. The low costs of the materials will release any pressure from hosting-communities as the refugees themselves will be able to obtain materials and build the structure, with as little help as possible.

A safe haven that is also self-made

The idea for this project developed from what they perceive as a primary need: self-sufficiency. With this they touch upon an important issue that is often experienced by refugees: total dependency on the goodness (or badness) of their host-country. The communal kitchen is their attempt to address this burden in a friendly and productive manner. Food, after all, is both social and comforting by nature.

See all the ideas submitted so far on our platform at refugeechallenge.unhcrideas.org


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