International Solidarity, Shelters and Refuge by Håvard Breivik

Built environment professionals find it difficult to engage in the urban crisis dialogue, and lack entry points to contribute their expertise, and while humanitarian and development actors now welcome their participation, the history of spatial contributions in crisis contexts might explain some of the reasons for why the two sectors are not working better together: a common perception that the Shelter should be the main deliverable. The world is more complex than that, but so is the expertise inherent in the diverse built environment sector.

The lecture will take place in the framework of the course: Spaces of SolidarityThe course aims at examining community-driven spaces and spatial processes that pool and share resources to build social cohesion in times of crisis or absence of government, at a variety of scales, places, and contexts. It also attempts to explore environments of community formation and open up a dialogue on the agency of design in enacting and facilitating actions of solidarity. 

The lecture will focus on the role of built environment professionals in crisis contexts, and why architects, planners, and designers have a responsibility to understand and address the political issues dealt with by states, cities, and the international humanitarian & development actors, in order to provide guidance and identify potential synergies at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, humanitarian response, and refugee integration initiatives. Can some of these challenges be solved spatially, and why do we need public spaces in crises response? The lecture will include examples from Haiti, Nepal, Hungary and Greece.

Håvard Breivik is an architect and member of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s emergency standby roster, NORCAP.  With almost a decade of experience from crisis response, humanitarian relief, and development efforts, Håvard has been deployed to United Nations agencies in Haiti, Nepal, Macedonia, Hungary, and New York.  Håvard is currently the Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises Secretariat.  He is also responsible for the Master’s course In  Transit at the Oslo School of Architecture  and Design (AHO), while serving on the NORCAP roster.  He holds a master’s degree in Architecture from AHO’s Institute of Urbanism and Landscape.