We recently collaborated with Professor David Sanderson (UNSW) on a competition entry for the 2019 MAAS Architectural Commission. Our proposal, titled 68.5 million, allows for visitors to participate in an immersive experience which recreates, to some small degree, the stages of a refugee’s journey once arriving in a foreign country: a journey of processing, incarceration, uncertainty and release. The use of ubiquitous shipping containers, designed to move non-human goods, underpins the dehumanising journeys most refugees make.
68.5 million is the number of people around the world who have been forced from their homes by disasters and conflict. Many of these flee their countries, and as refugees undertake perilous journeys to arrive in unwelcoming foreign countries. Then, if not returned to their country of origin, they are released into the city to make some kind of life.