Book Launch
Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp
Edited by: Azra Aksamija, Raafat Majzoub, and Melina Philippou

Tuesday 31 January 2023 | 6:00 PM | Main Building

Design to Live is a book that showcases how refugees use art and design to transform their living environments, restoring humanity within circumstances that seem aimed at depriving them of it. Featuring more than twenty projects created by Syrian refugees at the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, the book offers a new way of understanding design as a subversive worldmaking practice and as a tool for reclaiming agency in conditions of forced displacement. The featured projects shed light on the discrepancy between standardized humanitarian design and the real sociocultural needs of refugees. 

Through architectural drawings, illustrations, photographs, and texts, refugees collaborate with humanitarian workers and researchers on this bilingual book in English and Arabic across cultural and disciplinary borders.

The discussion session will be in Arabic, moderated by Raafat Majzoub. 

Participants in the discussion
Nisreen Rawashdeh (Educational Technology expert, Senior Program Manager at Edraak), Heba Najada (PhD in Architectural History, UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History at UC Davis), and
Zeid Madi (Urban researcher, Founder @Clusterlabs).

Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp is the product of a three-year joint project of the MIT Future Heritage Lab and the Syrian refugees at the Azraq Refugee Camp, supported by CARE-Jordan and the German Jordanian University. 

Azra Aksamija is an artist and architectural historian, Director and Founder of the MIT Future Heritage Lab (FHL), and Director and Associate Professor in the MIT Department of Architecture and the program in Art, Culture, and Technology. 

Raafat Majzoub is an architect, artist, writer, Director of The Khan: The Arab Association for Prototyping Cultural Practices, and Editor-in-Chief of the Dongola Architecture Series. 

Melina Philippou is an architect and urbanist, the Program Director of the MIT Future Heritage Lab, and a Research Associate in the Department of Architecture at the University of Cyprus.