Socio-psychological experience as a generator of space and form : designing an orientation centre for migrants in Durban.
Durban has often been referred to as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. During the Post-Apartheid years, migration of people from other parts of South Africa as well as African countries to Durban has drastically increased. However, the challenges migrants face in the city vary from mild antagonism, to the difficulties of finding employment, to aggressive xenophobic outbreaks. There is a need for orientation for these migrants to help them adapt and feel more at home in the unfamiliar setting. This research dissertation explores the various approaches to creating a new type of architecture to aid the transition of migrants into the city of Durban. The psychological and social changes that they are experiencing in their transitional state have been translated into a set of architectural place-making methods that explore the possibility of an architecture that orientates and promotes transition, as well as provides a place where migrants can find temporary refuge. The dissertation aims to ultimately result in the design of an original architectural typology; a landmark that facilitates orientation and adaption of migrants, both physically and psychologically, and also educates and promotes inter-cultural understanding and appreciation amongst communities of migrants and locals.
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