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Centre for Urban Conflicts Research


The radical geopolitical changes of the modern world have generated large-scale population displacements that have significantly influenced the built environment. Wars, persecutions, climate change and market economies have pushed people away from their homes and forced them to resettle in new locations, whether within or across national borders. Some sites were constructed ad hoc both to support and control displaced persons while other sites contributed to continuing displacement. Following colonial expansion in past centuries, for example, displaced indigenous peoples formed makeshift settlements while those in power confined defiant locals in detention and refugee camps as part of state-building projects. Today, emergency shelters and “arrival cities” accommodate displaced populations as well as restrict their transnational movement.

Set within the context of the spatial ordering of modern population movements of the last century, this session aims at tracing the multi-faceted spatial manifestations of displacement worldwide.  How may we theorize architectural and spatio-political formations related to displacement? What roles has architecture played in facilitating or resisting displacement, and in supporting displaced people? How can we trace the influence of displacement on local and transnational architectural configurations and on the appearance of new spatial typologies? How can an historical analysis of displacement contribute to the understanding of this situation as a whole?

We welcome papers that explore spaces of displacement, including the organization of refugee camps in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe created in the wake of violent conflict or climate change, as well as studies examining the spatial impact of socioeconomic unrest in South and Central America. Papers should engage the broad range of concepts mentioned above and develop a socio-spatial analysis of the situations they examine.

Session Chairs: Irit Katz and Felipe Hernández, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge.

SAH submission Guidelines:

- Abstracts must be under 300 words.
- The title cannot exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
- Abstracts and titles must follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
- Only one abstract per conference by author or co-author may be submitted.
- A maximum of two (2) authors per abstract will be accepted.

Please submit your abstract through this link:

Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Dates:  June 7-11, 2017.
Conference website: