Client: NextFab Foundation
Location: Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan
Status: Design phase
A digital fabrication lab in Al-Zataari refugee camp, on the Jordanian border with Syria
Scaling up NextFab Foundation’s Fablabs for social innovation worldwide, especially in places which most need them, we initiated in early 2014 our collaboration with the design of a digital fabrication lab in Al-Zataari refugee camp, on the Jordanian border with Syria. Zataari hosts more than 85.000 Syrian refugees who have transformed the camp to a DIY informal settlement with little more than basic tools. This lab will offer educational programs, vocational training, business development and physiological treatment through interactive art. We expect the lab to grow organically into an Open Innovation Centre: a place to crowd-source, co-create and test solutions to moonshot humanitarian innovation challenges.
The architectural design of the lab incorporated all the essential elements of Syrian residential architecture. Just like in most islamic buildings, we opted for a more austere exterior and an internal focused interior. (add name of typical spacces added) Arabic patterns are to be found on the brick perforated facade, as well as, the internal flooring tiles. The central courtyard aimed to recreate the feeling of a typical Syrian house with the water element in the form of a fountain in the center. It was designed to be a place that fosters creativity and empowers vulnerable groups with innovative tools but most importantly a place where they can feel familiar with and can help them actively reimagine and alter their realities.