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Yesterday BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme focused on Refugees, ahead of World Refugee Day tomorrow. Tom Scott-Smith spoke about his research into Architectures of Displacement. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this project explores temporary accommodation for refugees in the Middle East and Europe. Tom is a 2020 New Generation Thinker, a scheme run by the AHRC and the BBC, which brings the latest academic research to radio.

Of his research Tom says, “The question I set out to answer was ‘How are refugees being accommodated in different countries? What works? What doesn’t work? What’s the role of design? And I was also interested in something a bit more philosophical which is, what is shelter in the end? How can we think about this basic human need through the way that people provide for it?” He speaks of the different approaches taken by six countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Germany, France and Austria.

One important issue to come out of the research, he says, was “the ability to give inhabitants the means to control the spaces that they live in”, including such basics as when people can eat or have lights on.

Listen to the programme here: