Viennese social furniture: Transforming urban hospitality with plywood and cable ties
Tom Scott-Smith (Refugee Studies Centre)
Thursday, 23 February 2017, 2pm to 3.30pm
Seminar Room, The Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS
Hosted by COMPAS, University of Oxford
About the seminar
When the London Design Museum awarded ‘Design of the Year’ to the IKEA refugee shelter last month, the resulting attention strayed once again to the complete, prefabricated unit. Drawing on recent fieldwork in Vienna, this presentation explores a more modest but potentially more successful series of architectural interventions that have been pioneered in the Austrian capital over the past twelve months. Grouped under the heading of ‘social furniture’, these interventions use mundane, everyday items to transform empty office space and circumvent existing employment restrictions for asylum seekers. After explaining the central idea, the seminar will evaluate the strengths and limitations of the model and place it in the context of Viennese urban planning.
COMPAS Seminar Series, Thursdays, Hilary Term 2017
Migration and Urban Transformation: boundaries in an age of resentment
Convened by: Urban Transformations
About the speaker
Tom Scott-Smith is Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration, fellow of St. Cross College Oxford, and Course Director for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration. He holds an M.Phil and D.Phil from the University of Oxford, an M.Sc from the University of London, and an M.A from the University of Edinburgh. He was previously Lecturer at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol and Senior Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford. Before coming to academia, Tom worked as a development practitioner concerned with the education sector in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Tom specializes in the ethnographic and historical study of humanitarian relief and its impact on the lives of refugees. He is currently finishing a five-year project on humanitarian nutrition, whose results will appear in a monograph entitled On an Empty Stomach: the Humanitarian Approach to Hunger. He is also working on a new project, Architectures of Displacement, exploring the lived experience of temporary accommodation for refugees in the Middle East and Europe. His work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed scholarly journals including Third World Quarterly, the Journal of Refugee Studies, Refugee Survey Quarterly and Disasters.