March 2023

Giving an invited talk titled "A home away from home? Architecture and the humanitarian-development divide in response to protracted forced migration crises" at the Stuckeman Center of Design Computing (SCDC) Lecture Series.


12/4/20221 min read

A home away from home?

Persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violation, and climate change have forced 83.5 million people worldwide out of their homes. In the past decade alone, 6.7 million Syrians, 4 million Venezuelans, 3.4 million Ukrainians, 2.6 million Afghans, 2.2 million South Sudanese, and 1.1 million people from Myanmar have been displaced across international borders. Low- and middle-income countries are hosting 85% of refugees and migrants displaced abroad. Originally the humanitarian aid system, governed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was set up to provide temporary services to refugees and forcibly displaced populations until conditions allow for their repatriation to their home countries. However, protracted crises have exiled populations out of their home countries for extended timeframes which has burdened the humanitarian system, as well as the development agenda in host countries. Short-term humanitarian solutions are failing to effectively support protracted crisis populations and host countries are lacking sufficient support to integrate these populations within the development agenda. In her presentation, Nasim will first explore the ongoing humanitarian-development agenda in response to protracted forced migration crises. She will then discuss her work at Penn State, College of IST to gauge conversation with architects and urban planners as key stakeholders in designing durable solutions for sustainable outcomes. She will specifically pose the following questions: What is the role of space, architecture, and urban design for enhancing the livelihoods of both camp-based and urban refugees in host countries? How can designers and architects contribute to localization, asset-based community development, and policy reforms? And how is the Penn State architecture community engaging in the conversation, taking the initiative to address these challenges as one of the key areas of SDGs, goal 10.7., creating regular and safe migration?