Sirius Training, in partnership with The London Metropolitan University, Oxford Brookes University, Resi, Ash Sakula Architects and Red Ochre, have developed a new project proposal within the Erasmus+ Programme under the KA1 Action: Mobility of Adult Education Staff.
The project aim is to help staff from the participating organisations gain a greater understanding of issues that affect migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and to promote the intercultural inclusion of these groups in local communities.
In particular, we seek to understand the effects of architecture on migrants and their settlement in new neighbourhoods. How can “place-based” architectural practices help to improve displaced people’s ability to participate in & craft their own spaces in European communities?
Placed-based architecture is a reaction to the negative effect of the top-down imposition of preconceived architectural form onto an existing urban neighbourhood. It seeks rather to respond to, engage with and build on the bottom-up concerns and dispersed initiatives existing within the neighbourhood. This is a project-based way of teaching and learning by which participants focus their project work on a defined geographical place. Participants develop ways of engaging with the residents and occupiers of the place to understand their shared matters of concern, such as the effects of climate change, the inclusion of migrants and refugees, depopulation, or overpopulation. Participants also investigate and experiment with the affordance of the place: the physical attributes of the existing infrastructure, the availability of materials, local skills, abilities, and existing creative initiatives.
Participants will develop practical proposals focused on the local reality. These are contained within a narrative which is shared and developed with residents using a variety of techniques, such as ongoing conversations, learning by making exercises, exhibitions and feedback. Course output can be published and shared so that the creative focus engendered by the course will be picked up and integrated into other initiatives, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the project aims.
Staff from the participating UK organisations will be sent on a 6-day professional development course abroad. There will be a total of 4 mobilities over 2 years, which will take place either in a depopulated rural village in Calabria, Italy; or in Athens, the capital city of Greece. There will be lectures, workshops, visits, discussions, exhibitions, group projects, feedback sessions, site-work, and engagement with experts in the field.
Participants will include staff and volunteers of the consortium organisation involved in work related to topics such as migration, refugee inclusion, community engagement, local policy proposals, architecture, construction, city planning & development, teaching, health, etc. There will be a total of 48 participants over the 2 years.
-Gain a greater understanding of refugee inclusion, migration, and community integration in the host counties through first-hand experience
-Develop knowledge of place-based architecture and migration
-Develop skills and techniques to produce project-based proposals in architecture, communities and inclusion
-Promote participation and bottom-up placemaking
-Creation of course outputs which can be published and shared
-Develop of skills in participants which can be used in their local communities when initiating new projects
-Understand intercultural inclusion and mental health
-Establish innovative ways to promote common European values and intercultural inclusion with a focus on non-EU refugee and asylum-seeking communities
-Develop knowledge of a place-based architectural approach to issues affecting migrants and refugees and learn how to apply this at the local level by developing project proposals
-Create sustainable cross-border cooperation through new relationships and networks with local organisations and people in the host country, as well as with fellow peers working in similar sectors in the UK
-Improve personal competencies including teamwork, leadership, drawing, planning, presentation, confidence, conversation, empathy, cross-sectoral knowledge, and the real-life application of theoretical knowledge
-Learn how to create welcoming environments
-Learn how climate change can influence patterns of migration & develop an understanding of new possible solutions such as bio-architecture which can help affected areas
This project seeks to change the approach of local authorities and those who distribute funding to include an understanding of the contribution that newcomers can make to a flourishing city, and the influence that architecture can have in promoting refugee inclusion. This innovative approach will also help to develop new curricula, training content and methodologies in the field of adult education.