Lost in Transition: Designing for Refugee Integration in New Zealand
Political unrest and internal conflict over recent years had forcefully displaced millions of people. As a result, the developed countries of the world are pressured to take in more refugees and New Zealand is included in this group. In response, New Zealand recently increased its intake of refugees, especially families from Syria. A rapid increase of immigrants from a foreign culture can create fear relating to social and economic instability for the host country residents. If their concerns are not addressed, it can lead to tension between the host community and the refugees. In addition, many refugees have difficulty in transitioning, facing problems such as language barriers and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The short orientation they received before relocation is usually insufficient to help them adjust to the new country. In order to improve the process of refugee integration in New Zealand, this thesis examines how architecture can facilitate positive social engagement between host communities and refugees.