Migration spaces

A dialogue between migration and multicultural spaces

Never before has the number of people forced to flee their homes been as high as at the end of 2022. There are many reasons for this flight: Lack of prospects and poverty, ethnicity and religion, violence and war, discrimination and persecution, climate change and environmental destruction.

© Borders - Marta Monteiro

Flight

Last year, 108.4 million people left everything behind in search of a new place that offers them safety and protection. But how many really succeed in arriving in a completely foreign country, and feeling at home - often without friends and family, surrounded by foreign cultures and living structures? Social and spatial integration has been a major challenge for years without a satisfactory solution - as seen in the city of Vienna, where almost half of the population has a migrant background.  Whether or not we feel a sense of belonging is closely linked to the opportunities we find. Just because those who are at home in a place find themselves integrated and represented in the housing market, does not mean the those,  who have ended up in the same place in hope for a new home, do the same.

« If the minority is accepted by the majority, the majority in return can benefit from the minority. Hannah Landsmann, cultural mediator at the Jewish Museum Vienna

Concepts of life

We need to adapt the current living concepts: How can we integrate the spatial needs of other cultures into architectural, urban developments , creating new spaces to unite  multicultural needs through special building blocks, strengthening the coexistence of diverse population groups and integrating cultural minorities? Our vision of "Type M" stands for all the necessary, integrative steps to achieve this and much more: multicultural, opportunity, added value, mix, etc.

Based on the so called 'concept of milieu', neither migrants nor culturally native people should be seen as a homogeneous group, but rather be categorised according to values, lifestyles and their social situation. This helps to blur the boundaries between different milieus - allowing for the appreciation of contact and the potential for overlaps. Although the culture of origin has a significant influence on identity, it does not determine the basic values.

By recognising migrants as a group for new demands on the housing market, by integrating intercultural structures and by designing the building blocks flexibly, we can crate future-oriented and sustainable living spaces, able to react to global events and to naturally integrate into existing living spaces and mixes.

Objective

Our research lab deals with the question of how the current housing market and common living concepts must change in order to give non-natives a sense of belonging. At this stage of the project, the spatial needs of other cultures are analysed and a vision ("Type M") is created combining all these necessary, integrative steps and integrating them into architectural urban developments.

More information: F-LAB 10 I Forschungslabor 10
Team: Vera Kuisl, Barbora Köver Tothova, Franca Bierich
Project lead: Maria Megina, Dominik Philipp
Timeframe: Teil 1 22.06.2022 - 28.09.2023

Living space for all

When it comes to housing, the basic needs of a society are affected. And this includes an affordable, high-quality living space as well as public space. It is therefore the duty of all of us to ensure that everyone - regardless of their financial situation - has the right to a good living space. First and foremost, this requires diversity at a wide variety of levels - preferably demanded by the state. Because the time of residential blocks is over. We are knitting our city into neighbourhoods. And we are developing a variety of living spaces with people at the centre.

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Social responsibility and why we need places of communication

As architects do we actually have a social responsibility? And do we fulfil it? When we deal with a project, we are initially confronted with the question of ‘How?’: How do I manage to accommodate a certain number of people in a given space? With this question we are neither acting ethically nor are we fulfilling our social responsibility. Only when we ask ‘For whom?’ and ‘What can we change for society?’ do we take the perspective of our users and think about moral principles.

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Kuku 23 Gastgebgasse, Vienna (AT)
New building, Affordable housing

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Wood’Art – La Canopée, ZAC La Cartoucherie, Toulouse (FR)
New building

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Metzgergrün Quarter, Freiburg (DE)
New building, Affordable housing, Neighbourhood Development

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