The CO-COON

The Brief 

The co-coon will be a new style of living for refugees within a refugee camp. It will allow them to gain new skills by creating a sense of community through informal, yet organised community spaces. Space and scheme should be seen as a glimpse of hope for the people in the community. The co-coon aims to help children, and adults, living under the poverty line in less economically developed countries. The poverty may have occurred due to socio-economic issues, a natural or man-made disaster, or an outbreak of an epidemic. The CO-COON should help them to escape for a time from their harsh reality and give them a safe environment to live and relax, whilst learning and gaining essential skills. The scheme will also look into the political issue surrounding the camp and blur the boundaries surrounding these people. The future aims of the co-coon are to develop so it can be adapted and used in other disaster zones and refugee camps. Additionally, Beth thought the atmosphere within the refugee camps, especially at night, is quite scary even though there is minimal violence, mainly sadness and boredom! Therefore, my design needs

to give them a sense of purpose and get them engaging with each other. Additionally, due to the lack of facilities, it would be ideal if the structure was multifunctional. For example: if the roof could collect water or act as an allotment for them to grow and sell food, whereas their ground isn’t suitable.

Whilst volunteering in Pune, India, I saw first-hand how poor children are disadvantaged with their education: “One in four young people in developing countries are unable to read a sentence…[,] a “legacy of illiteracy”…”  Disasters quickly escalate already existing problems. “Typically, the poor are the worst hit for they have the least resources to cope and rebuild.” In the short term, the CO-COON will provide disaster emergency support and education, in addition to saving a life by helping the refugees to build a sustainable life and help them to be more self-sufficient. 

Biomimicry is the inspiration for the CO-COON. People have a closer connection to organic shapes and, therefore, tend to feel instantly more relaxed and safe. I have a keen interest in biomimicry as a way of solving problems and using it as a design tool to influence the outcome. As the CO-COON is set within an area of poverty, mainly after a disaster has occurred, it needs to be easily assembled with minimal experience required.

 

My chosen site is a refugee camp situated in Rwanda in the Eastern province which borders Tanzania. The refugee camp I have chosen is the largest camp within Rwanda and is home to around 56,000 + refugees, information from a survey completed in January 2018. Camp Mahama is a refuge to people from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi etc. They had to flee their homes due to political conflict in their own counties plus the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide.  

- March-May 2018

The CO-COON is a new style of a refugee camp that is centered around creating a community, as a community will give them a sense of belonging and ownership. Which would have bee taken away from them. It will allow them to gain new skills by creating a sense of community through informal, yet organised, community spaces. The space and scheme should be seen as a glimpse of hope for the people in the community. The co-coon aims to help children, and adults, living under the poverty line in less economically developed countries. The poverty may have occurred due to socio-economic issues, a natural or man-made disaster, or an outbreak of an epidemic. The CO-COON should help them to escape for a time from their harsh reality and give them a safe environment to live and relax, whilst learning and gaining essential skills. The future aims of the co-coon is to develop so it can be adapted and used in other disaster zones and refugee camps. The atmosphere within the refugee camps especially at night is quite scary even though there is minimal violence, mainly sadness and boredom! Therefore, the CO-COON will give them a sense of purpose and get them engaging with each other. 

Biomimicry has been a keen interest of mine throughout my time at university. People have a closer connection to organic shapes and, therefore, tend to feel instantly more relaxed and safe. I have a keen interest in biomimicry as a way of solving problems and using it as a design tool to influence the outcome. As the CO-COON is set within an area of poverty, mainly after a disaster has occurred, it needs to be easily assembled with minimal experience required.

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