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UNHCR housing units in Diavata camp, Greece © UNHCR/Roland Schoenbauer
UNHCR housing units in Diavata camp, Greece

RSC Public Seminar Series, Michaelmas term

Emergency Shelter and Forced Migration

Series convened by Tom Scott-Smith and Mark E. Breeze

This interdisciplinary seminar series examines the nature and challenges of emergency shelter in the context of forced migration. What are the key issues in the design and provision of shelters? What does better shelter mean and how can we get there? How can political dynamics be managed in the organization of camps and urban areas? What lessons emerge from over forty years practical work in the shelter sector? The speakers in this series include academics and practitioners from the fields of architecture, planning, anthropology, humanitarianism, and design.

The seminar series complements the forthcoming issue of Forced Migration Review on Emergency Shelter, to be published in 2017.

About the speaker

Dr Camillo Boano is an architect, urbanist and educator. He is Senior Lecturer at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London (UCL), where he directs the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development. He is also co-director of the UCL Urban Laboratory. Camillo has over 20 years of experience in research, design consultancies and development work in South America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia.

As an academic interested in practice, he combines interests in critical architecture, spatial production, transformations, urbanism with the exceptional circumstances of disasters, conflicts and informality. His interest in investigating the material and dialectical production of spaces emerged out of experiences of being a development practitioner in South America in the early 1990s and in war ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Dr Boano’s research and consultancy roles have included work in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand. This involved collaborations with numerous institutions, including UNHCR, UNDP, Refugee Study Centre, EU, Oxfam GB, Italian Civil Protection, World Bank and several architectural practices.

In addition to directing the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development, he is the Director of the DPUsummerLab initiative He is also associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, University of Bologna, Polytechnic of Turin, Polytechnic of Milan, Roma Tre and Université de Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne.

Prior to joining UCL, Dr Boano worked in development and architectural practice for a number of years, became a research fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, joined the World Habitat Research Unit in Switzerland, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where he worked on a number of research and consultancy projects concerned with environmental forced migration, humanitarian urbanism, temporary shelters, post-disaster housing reconstruction, and communication in emergencies.