"My grandmother remembers the Arab world much differently than people view it today. She remembers a place known for its music, innovation, and intellectual abilities. I may be naive, but I want to help work toward unity in the Arab world— both between our countries and within our countries— so that we can get back to that place again." (Amman, Jordan)
"The Zaatari Refugee Camp is twelve kilometers from the Syrian border, and has become the fourth largest city in Jordan. At its peak last year, over 3,000 Syrians refugees were entering the camp every day. This was a biblical level of population movement. Over 400,000 people have lived in the camp at some point in the last two years. UNHCR has responded to their basic needs: sanitation, food, healthcare. But there’s a large gap between survival and livelihood. For lack of a better word, boredom has become a big problem. It’s too dangerous to return to Syria, and there are very limited ways to be productive inside the camp. But the adaptations have been amazing. This is unlike any other refugee camp in the world. The Syrians are coming from a middle class economy, so they are a very skilled population— they aren’t subsistence farmers. They’ve managed to build an economy inside the camp. Most of the tents have been upgraded to houses. The refugees trade with the Jordanians, and bring in supplies from the outside to start their own shops. One man even started a supermarket. It’s still a tough situation. But arriving with nothing, the Syrian refugees have managed to carve out their own dignity inside the camp. They aren’t just taking what is given to them. They’ve created choices for themselves.”
-Gavin White, UNHCR Jordan External Relations Officer
Long Museum (West Bund) Atelier Deshaus
"The new design adopts the cantilever structure featuring “vault-umbrella” with independent walls while the shear walls with free layout are embedded into the original basement so as to be concreted with the original framework structure. With the shear walls, the first underground floor of the original parking has been transformed to an exhibition space with the overground space highlighting multiple orientations because of the relative connection of the “vault-umbrella” at different directions; besides, the electrical & mechanical system has been integrated in the “vault-umbrella” structure. As to the overground space covered by the “vault-umbrella”, the walls and the ceiling feature as-cast-finish concrete surface so that their geometrical dividing line seems faint. Such structure cannot only shield the human body in conformation but visually echoes with the Coal-Hopper-Unloading-Bridge at the wharf. Moreover, the building’s internal space can also represent a kind of primordial and tameless charm while the spatial dimension, large or small, and the as-cast-finish concrete surface with the seam among moulding boards and the bolt holes bring a sense of reality as well. The directness and simplicity resulting from this “literal” structure, material and space plus the sense of force or lightness because of large-scale overhanging style enables the overall building’s continuation of the industrial property of the original site, not only in time but in space."