The Deeper Significance of Living Design in Syrian Refugee Camps in Lebanon

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  • Title: The Deeper Significance of Living Design in Syrian Refugee Camps in Lebanon
  • Author(s): Noel Nasr, Jacqueline Soghman
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Design Principles & Practices
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Design in Society
  • Keywords: Refugees, Temporary Home, Living Design, Transnationalism, Place-identity, Collective Memory
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2325-1328 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1360 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1328/CGP/v13i03/31-44
  • Citation: Nasr, Noel, and Jacqueline Soghman. 2019. "The Deeper Significance of Living Design in Syrian Refugee Camps in Lebanon." The International Journal of Design in Society 13 (3): 31-44. doi:10.18848/2325-1328/CGP/v13i03/31-44.
  • Extent: 14 pages

Abstract

The year 2011 witnessed uprisings in numerous Arab countries, triggering the war in Syria and causing thousands of Syrian citizens to flee their homes and seek asylum in neighboring lands. Today, according to the Lebanese government, Lebanon hosts around 1.5 million refugees, 10 percent of whom live in formal camps distributed across the country. This article investigates the role everyday design plays in the kitchen and “majlis” areas of refugee camps. It argues that the design of the temporary lodging is a challenge to the boundaries set by a politically charged environment. Can the living design be an indicator that the mindset of the house/tent-wife has embraced the new situation? Is it the preservation of an identity fighting for survival? Is the non-designer’s attempt to recreate a home a solution to deconstruct the challenging boundaries set by the forced migration? The authors examine the intention of this aesthetic intervention and its reflection on the identity of the displaced family, as well as its correlation to the lost home.