How can architecture and urbanism contribute to the integration of refugee populations in an unfamiliar culture and promote the formation of authentic multicultural environments? How can we cultivate and maximize the latent potential of resettlement practices to encourage urban rejuvenation? The studio addressed these questions through research and design exploration via long-term rental housing and short-term transitory housing projects.
The students completed three separate tracks of inquiry in the first half of the semester: (1) case studies on supportive housing projects; (2) a holistic documentation of resettlement procedures in the US; and, (3) a multi-faceted analysis of Buffalo’s East Side. The students were asked to develop the exact scope and location of their projects within a 4-square-mile catchment area in East Buffalo, a grossly under-served section of the city. In addition to housing, students were tasked with constructing effective but affordable programmatic mixes in order to facilitate social integration.