Inpursuit of well-being: "Architecture for the displaced children"
According to UN refugee agency, the world is currently facing the maximum influx of refugees and internally displaced people than any time since World War II due to political conflict and environmental calamities. This paper focuses on Syrian displaced people living in Greek island Lesbos, which due to its size and proximity to Turkish main land has become a very popular destination for them migrating to Europe. Almost half of the displaced population are children who have not only been chased by horrendous experience of torture and destruction but also deprived of education at their formative stage of life. How can architecture promote welfare and provide inspiring learning environments for the displaced children living in the island is the core investigation of this paper? Simultaneously, this paper would also like to show strategies for the Syrian community to become integrated and gradually assimilated within the surrounding Greek community. To better understand the depth of the crisis as well as to determine the requirements of the children, this paper respectively studies the activities undertaken by several organizations (for example, UNHCR and Save the Children) in different parts of the world and analyzes case studies related to various children’s learning and playing spaces. In addition, children’s drawings have been analyzed carefully to understand their own perception about learning spaces. Several literature reviews have been made, for example the impact of built environment on children’s well-being, the design principles that affects the learning process of a young pupil, building typologies both in Syria and Greece to gather the supporting knowledge required for the design intervention. Based on these findings, design parameters are investigated to support a design process that intervenes in the displaced life of refugee children far away from their home.