2017 Competition Results
A Marketplace in Refugee settlements

26 Finalists selected from

342 Proposals

700+ Participants


34 Countries and 150 Universities


Place and Displacement is an inaugural competition hosted by Ideation Worldwide (under IDeA) which aims to create a discourse on refugee livelihoods, which embodies the dignity and resilience of refugees working to protect their autonomy, creativity and capability in difficult conditions. Place and Displacement challenges young minds around the world to formulate an interdisciplinary architecture and public administration proposal for driving innovation in marketplace in refugee settlements.

After months of preparation, we assembled a jury team consisting of the most influential and accomplished architects, professors, NGO leaders, and policy makers in the world. On November, we opened our registration for the first time. By 1st of February 2017, we closed our submission feeling awed and inspired; more than 300 design and policy proposals were submitted, from more than 700 participants from 34 countries and 150 universities around the world.

Our team, together with our jury through remote judging, went through all the submissions meticulously for weeks and weeks. We were overwhelmed with the amazing selections of work from our young participants, observing a level of creativity that we have never seen before. The depth of research, level of technical knowledge and understanding of complex cultural and anthropological issues put into the proposals were worthy of the highest adulation, showing applicants’ passion for humanitarian causes. The applicants were eventually narrowed down to 26 finalists, who have submitted proposals which we believe not only capture the spirit of our competition, but can help refugees to overcome the challenges they currently face.

On February 27th and 28th, our jury team came together once more at Yale University and UN Habitat office New York, thanks to our partner Yale MacMillan Center and UN Habitat New York, an all-day discussion to decide on the winning team. The meeting of experts in their fields from around the world, presented with 25 of the best ideas from the younger generation, constituted a nucleus for ideas that can change the many fundamental principles of traditional architecture and humanitarianism.

The synergy between architecture and humanitarianism raises many important questions, including the overall goals and definitions of architecture and humanitarian action themselves. Considering metrics including creativity, feasibility, depth of research, and scalability, four teams were selected as Honorable mentions, with three teams chosen through unanimous decision as the overall winners. These three teams will be invited to the summit to present their ideas to a live audience. A further 19 teams were considered finalists.

Ideation Worldwide is therefore proud to announce the winners of IDeA/Ideation Worldwide “Place and Displacement” Refugee Architecture Competition 2017. These three teams will be joining us and our speakers in New York on 22nd April for our Ideation Worldwide Summit. After each of the team’s presentations, one team will be announced the grand winner.

[Special Prize for all finalists]

Due to the strict criteria the jury has given and the competitiveness of the submissions, we were only able to unanimously decide on 4 honourable mention positions. Therefore, we have decided to award $120 to all remaining 19 finalist teams. Furthermore, the works of all 26 teams will be documented and published online and in print form for the summit.


2017 Winners


Germany - Berlin

The Digital Marketplace  

2017 Grand Winner

Luis Alberto Torres, Hyder Mohsin, Sahar Rad, Kostas Korres

A Digital Marketplace and Skills Exchange Hub to assist the integration of Refugees in Berlin. Moving beyond provisional accommodation and basic protection, the Platform seeks to build on refugees talent and capacity to create livelihood opportunities and self-sufficiency, while offering protection to the most vulnerable. Combining digital means and physical infrastructure, it endeavours to overcome the barriers faced when trying to integrate local economies and communities, re-positioning the idea of refugees as an agent of positive change both in new societies and back their communities.

Kenya - Kakuma Camp

Water Wall 

Ambra Chiaradia, Diana Paoluzzi

In harsh conditions such as Kakuma camp, markets play a critical role in providing the refugees necessities not covered by the humanitarian agencies. “Water Wall” is a proposal for a structure that uses the technique of evaporative cooling for storing and cooling fresh food, critical to ensure good nutrition and health of the inhabitants. In this new zero energy market the refugees, by processing and selling the goods, will have the possibility to improve their entrepreneurial skills, and the new food-based economy will be a solid base for the birth of new jobs and services inside the camp.

Jordan - Zataari Camp

Women's Bazaar

Nicole Lilly Gros, Maria Årthu

A protected market place connected to the UN Women compound, consisting of workshops, child care, social areas, and retail spaces. The female population is under-represented on the Za’atari job market, so the Women's Bazaar will be a safe space for working and social activities. The architecture and spatial organization of the retail area function both as a protective barrier and link with the public market street. Architectural elements reflect the origins of most of the Za’atari population. The construction system is scaleable, assembling into different spatial configurations.

Honorable Mentions

Berlin - The Berlin Time Exchange

Francesca Rogers, Benedetta Rogers, Ludovica Rogers, Joel Benjamin, Anthony Staples

An exchange platform between two vulnerable populations of Berlin: asylum seekers and senior citizens of the city. Excluded from the job market, these groups possess skills and interests that would benefit not only their own mental and physical health, but the city as a whole. The currency is time - the one resource both groups have in abundance.

The provision of enabling spaces facilitates the creative application of skills and interests, whilst acting as a catalyst for interaction within the community. The marketplace will transform over time and in time open up to the public, allowing it to become self-sufficient.


Kakuma - The Kakuma Kiln


Min Jae Lee, Kiwon Jeon, Emilio Granda

Kakuma Kiln is a proposal that provides access to existing resources and helps overcome other limitations within the refugee camp. The kiln takes advantage of the natural environment and seasonal cycles to provide alternative infrastructure. By supporting the basic needs of both the community and the individuals, the structure can serve as the initial grounds for market activity growth. The reflective parabolic trough can be utilized in diverse ways allowing the people within to not only fulfill their individual needs but also establish independently a locally based freedom of interaction and movement that is necessary within the camp.




Sreoshy Banerjea-Mazumdar, Urvashi Banerjea, Niral Desai

LynKakuma, a self-propelling market, driven by financially guided principles and applied technology, is a cooperative exchange that enables residents to transact with one another. A virtual and physical platform, Mraba Soko is an iPad-based, virtual marketplace where buyers and sellers come together at a Kiosk to post items, communicate, and exchange. Kiosks, colorful vertical markers, are distributed in a predominantly horizontal landscape, as beacons that encourage personal interaction and represent a communal exchange point. This brings the vulnerable members of the camp into the forefront of trading and exchange by formalizing the secondary market and fostering community integration and empowerment.

Zataari - REZ: Refugee Economic Zone

Leen Katrib

Two Oxford professors proposed to integrate Zaatari’s Syrian refugees into a nearby Special Economic Zone. Their proposal faces practical obstacles; nonetheless, it prompts the coupling of SEZ laws and refugees’ untapped economic potential. As such, rather than integrating refugees into SEZ’s, we propose to transform Zaatari’s unoccupied inner perimeter into a special economic belt of production and trade facilities retrofitted to UNHCR’s T-Shelter – a prototype flexible for alterations for various program specificities. In doing so, we establish a platform for Syrian refugees to produce and export to the EU and the host country without leaving the amenities provided by UNHCR.




Germany - Berlin

The Gemütlich|Markt

Guy Trangoš, Silvia Danielak

The Gemütlich|Mark is a dispersed network of ideas and activities markets that seeks to foster a sense of belonging and entrepreneurship across Berlin, connecting refugees, local communities, and wider support structures. Our architectural proposal is drawn from Berlin's history of adaptive re-use and urban informality. We propose the strategic and temporary repurposing of abandoned industrial buildings, wherein they are restored as customizable and modular systems of comfortable rooms and courtyards able to host diverse activities, while using low-cost recyclable material. Each market functions as a core activity centre for community members, whose wider network ensures the stewardship of new interventions and old spaces, while creating core community nodes.

Window of Connection

Wenxin Yan, Mengya Zhou, Xin Wang, Zhou Yu

Refugees in Germany must typically be accommodated in reception facilities while their asylum application is being reviewed. The outdoor tent camp, though infamous for its inhumanity, is still commonly used. Our design, built with the joint efforts of the refugees and Germans, focuses on the improvement of the current temporary accommodations.

The design takes the form of a window, so as to connect the refugees with German nationals, and it is economical, eco-friendly and reusable. In terms of daily operation, we would involve local NGOs to help with fund collection, wholesale organization, external publicity, personnel deployment and security issues.


FURSA: A Cultural Interface

C.Kathyaini, Kadambari Komandur, Meher Uddaraju

The human mind is influenced by interactions, in terms of both people and space.

An exploration of dynamics of social forces in Berlin, this project seeks to foster integration amongst disparate elements, and moderates as an interface and cultural marker in the city. Recognizing Berlin’s socio-political and cultural scenario, the market is a flexible, expandable, modular and mobile insert into the city that interacts with it. Various co-operatives enabling symbiotic relationships between market players can produce economic sustainability

Nurturing sustainability of energy, material and labour, the project aspires to give back to Berlin.


The Gateway

Jezamine Chua, Nicholas Carverhill

The Gateway delivers an ecosystem of services to refugees residing in Berlin. It is designed and conceptualized as an overlapping set of solutions in three critical areas of need—economic, social, and psychological. A marketplace is complemented by training and educational facilities, community areas, and recreational space. Our site addresses four tasks of integration: German as a second language, job training and labor integration, mental health care, and access to services. Taken together, The Gateway offers a holistic space that addresses the intersecting needs of refugees, while prioritizing flexibility, and agency in the evolution and growth of the site.


Jake Heffington, Eli Simaan, Jennifer Smith, Anne-Lise Knox Velez

Eisenbahnmarkt is an environmentally and economically sustainable cooperative marketplace network in Berlin’s railway archways. It fosters dignity among newly arrived refugees through early entry into the economic system, facilitating intercultural engagement, celebrating diversity, allowing for creativity, and providing community educational and training spaces. Locating in archways along existing rail integrates Eisenbahnmarkt contextually, provides identity, allows need-based growth and shrinkage of the market network with refugee populations, and links refugee communities, avoiding social fracturing typical of resettlement. Core program functions around market, workshop and administration/education spaces serve refugees and native Berliners.

Roving Agora

Géraldine Recker, Andres Camacho

Instead of choosing a singular location, which will be a magnet only for people who are already interested in the Berlin’s refugee issue, our concept is to confront a high diversity of people, by locating market trucks in mutual strategic points throughout the city, functioning as a recognisable symbol in the daily life of Berlin.

Each truck stores eight scalable market tables, which then are flexibly positioned around the truck, adapting to the specific urban fabric. The truck itself then turns into a gathering platform where people can sit, eat, chat, charge their phones and fix their bike.


Open Wall Platform

Jooeun Sung, Sang Yun Lee, Sang Hoon Youm, Seo Woo Lee, Jeong Hyun Cho, Sang Hoon Park, Jaehyun Lee

The ‘Open Wall Platform’ will be a vertical platform to initiate business, form refugee community, provide refugee support services, and intermingle with local community. The proposal is to build a wall carcass system on a vertical site in relation with the city and the Berlin Wall. The carcass system provides space for various program plug-ins and assures the expandability of the market to maximize social impact. The ‘Open Wall Platform’ is a process of designing the market community networks as well as the wall system itself.https://reberlinmarket504.wixsite.com/marketplace-reberlin


Kenya - Kakuma Camp

The Women's Community Market

Amritha Krishnan

The Women's Community Market of Kakuma leverages resources and skills of its inhabitants against a complex socio-cultural landscape and challenging climate. Envisaged as a central watering-hole, it is activated through refugee run kitchens and crafts workshops. A community of women with a culture of guardianship, it provides a safe haven for young, unaccompanied women against violence and abuse. The supporting incubation centre, internet hub and creche facilitate self-reliance and business growth, empowering women to support their families. Designed as a vaulted structure of stabilised interlocking bricks to substantially reduce costs, the marketplace becomes a beacon of hope for Kakuma. 

Kakuma Marketplace

Gjoka Mélina, Ido Nahom, Ballomeah Eshan


As camps are nowadays becoming territories, our marketplace project aims to value different cultures & existing skills and go beyond the refugee status by developping the social network, especially for women. 

Based on environmental criteria, low-cost and sustainable materials, the project intends to lead to the financial independence of the refugees and provide equal opportunities of local & foreign partnerships.

Moreover the design - an earthbag dry construction - is part of an educational process for it is easy to carry out and will give further skills to everyone.


The Camp Nucleus

Gyöngyvér Engloner, Daniel Nyandega

This design looks at a market not only as a structure or street but as part of a network, thus aiming to create a model market network which can be replicated in all sections of Kakuma. Based on community driven incremental change, it taps into existing market pull, cultural diversity, skills, entrepreneurs and cosmopolitan nature.  It creates a new network of flows in addition to building on the latent potentials of those preexisting. The design strategy is to approach this market as a 4-level network: Virtual market, main market, block level markets and multi-use houses.



Geneviève Poirier , Sarah Desaulniers, Philippe Evoy

Re-Tent proposes a three-step innovative and sustainable cycle, engaging with refugees to foster an inclusive design process. In the long term, structures can be expanded, as they are very easy to build, and hydroponic systems will allow the production and eventually sale of fresh produce. The implementation of a workshop facility, in which the Re-Tent and the hydroponic structures will continue to be self-constructed after the initial donation, will foster refugees’ dignity, creativity, enable community formation, foster social interaction and cultural exchange within the Kakuma refugee camp.

Nutshell of Life

Agnieszka Wierzbicka, Katarzyna Przybyla

Nutshell of Life applies a new technique for architectural re-evaluation of space: by inverting inside and outside building spaces, we are bringing plants to the heart of the structure, providing protection and space for growth. Market consists of optional number of sustainable, C-shaped units with water tank walls, wide roofs and space for trading underneath. Harvest season should begin within a year, and after 3-5 years plants will be self-sufficient and walls, built through natural processes, will shatter like a nutshell after spring. The process follows this structure UNIT + SEEDS → GARDEN→FOREST→FUTURE FOR NEXT GENERATION.


Jordan - Zataari Camp

Za'atari Moveable Bazaar

Sebastián Trujillo, Prashant Narayanan

We have designed a means for acceptance and assimilation: more than a building, we propose a programme. We outline a system that allows the participants -in this case, the people of Za’atari- to assimilate their adverse circumstances through strategies of self-management, networking and direct participation into decision-making processes. We propose a de-centralized, moving market, meant to be constructed and regulated by the people. Architecture hence plays a subsidiary role: by introducing DIY devices that locate informal-vending in three scales, three forms of movement and three forms of relating to the environment, we set a basic support for greater development.

Blooming Educational Souk

Juana Canet Rosselló, Juana Canet Rosselló, Elena Gómez Merino, Pablo Sánchez-Romo, Claudia Ponce Strenge

Blooming Educational Souk [BES] promotes innovative participatory methodologies to face individual challenges to benefit the camp and host community, by creating a productive, sustainable, chronologically developed circular system.

1. BESFoundation: an educational platform focused on education, skills training and business incubation

2. BESCompany: a social enterprise which will manage marketplace construction and employ refugees to improve street market infrastructure, shaded, green and WIFI spaces, creating urban public squares and business connections.

3. BESAssociation of Companies of Social Economy: program’s participants will become members and be offered counselling services to foster business development inside and outside the camp.

Marketplace |Making|

Meaghan Burke, Dina Sabie, and Samar Sabie

As the marketplace is a testament to the resilience and skill of the refugees, this design seeks create an infrastructure for self-building, foster a sense of ownership, and provide a safe environment to operate within for women and minors. Like the traditional souq, the design is incremental and forms over time. The main anchors are the market squares, which are structures designed to be filled with shops of various sizes. The squares provide public space for community activities. As the market develops, the market squares join along a pedestrian street, flanked by frames for live/work units, expandable over time.


Za'atari New Market

Nuha Innab, Ayham Dalal

Our design builds on the existing socio-spatial and economic model to develop a more integrative and socially inclusive market place in the camp. First, by enhancing the architectural language, the design provides a set of flexible arrangements, accommodating social spaces, infrastructure and formal/informal businesses. Then by building the shops with the assistance of a market committee; the selected projects will be based on encouraging innovation and collaboration between vulnerable families. This model is not only expected to sustain itself through an initial loan that will be paid back by each shop after a year, but will also give access to a wider group of refugees to the market in order to gain income and guarantee stability.

Eudaimonia Souk

Peter Rudd, Caroline Spigelski, Michael Adams, Yaman Amr, Janet Fishlock, Alfred Nicayenzi, Renata van Niekerk, Warren van Niekerk, Howard Won, Andrea T. F. NG

Refugees of the Syrian war at Za'atari Camp in Jordan suffer from a multitude of social, physical and economic hardships. For the vulnerable of the camp (women, poor, young, old), these hardships are compounded. The ancient Greeks believed in the philosophy of eudaimonia or “thriving” as a standard for good living. We propose a thriving market or Eudaimonia Souk based on the principles of interdependent of food production and consumption, knowledge acquisition, and economic sustainability. The souk, as a manifestation of these key principles, will transform individual lives and the camp culture in both the immediate and long term.

Staging Community Resilience

Marcello Tavone, Tommaso Dalla Vecchia

The project aims to provide the Za’atari camp’s citizens not only with a market but also with a fundamental urban public space. The project consists of a simple structure which frames a void, a "state of exception" opened to the most unpredictable bottom-up initiatives. Despite its formal simplicity, the project will trigger a game-changing process which will allow the refugees to stage best practices of social coexistence, to give voice to community needs, and to discuss civic engagement. The building will have two lives: the first one will be directly linked to the market and its temporary rituals. The second one will begin once the camp is dismantled: the structure will stand as a permanent monument, which will celebrate the resilience of the people who lived there.  



Sukh Al-Mara’a

Iman Fayyad, Mihir Prakash, Jessica Sarriot

Women in Zaatari, 49% of the population, represent 1.7% of current shop owners but provide 99% of childcare for the 20% of camp population that is 0-4 years old. Therefore, increasing work opportunities for women must address childcare.
Sukh Al-Mara’a, a Women’s Market, is a women-owned and operated space built around a beautiful day-care facility in District 9 for Zaatari women to recieve training in marketable skills, build an empowering safe space, and provide a market hub closer to currently isolated districts.
The design and construction is simple, sustainable and focused on water retention and the potential for expansion.