NO PLACE LIKE (SOMEONELSE’S) HOME
This thesis work is an elaboration on the consequences of a constant movement throughout the world and how architecture can provide solutions to improve the process of mental settlement.
Over the past 30 years, globalization emerged as a trend and has completely taken over the world we live in now. According to UN data sources, there were 244 million international migrants - 20 of which are forced refugees, living abroad worldwide in 2015. Hypermobility, standardisation of space and distance are the some of the consequences of globalization. Megacities are drawing more and more labor forces from the rural areas and other capitals. Networking became the main organizational form of economy and society. Detachment from something familiar, losing the feeling of belonging is the new norm for millions of people willingly or forcefully having to leave their home. I myself belong to the generation being born in a capitalist state based on flexibility and fast information-exchange.
Located in the middle of New York, city worldwide famous for its unique cultural diversity, project site — Brooklyn Navy Yard was functioning as the country’s largest shipbuilding and maritime facility since 1801.
To deal with the challenges of migration, focus has been shifted on a kinesthetic approach to spatial experiences in this project. That decision was based on preliminary investigations in the beginning of the Thesis process. In particular, interviews recorded among current migrants played a key role. As Edward T Hall puts it in “The Hidden Dimension”, the perception of space is based on receptors (eyes, ears, nose, touch). Architecture tends to focus on the eyes and functionality. However, senses like smell are also powerfully (if not more) suggestive.Being a migrant means in most cases having a different cultural background attached to a whole personal library of sensual memories: smells, tastes, colors, shapes and sounds that evoke home.The “Scent Library” is part of a set up aimed at creating a sense of home through the sensuality of space. Within the project programme, it is connected directly to the Food Market located beneath. Not only the latter serves to bring people from different cultures together to share their experiences and avoid isolation, it invokes a feeling of familiarity through colors and tastes of food, creating a collection of aromas stored and retrieved on demand.
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