Bjørnar Haveland is the newest member of the Kaleidoscope team. He recently graduated with a Masters degree from Bergen School of Architecture, and has a Bachelor degree from University of Michigan, US. As Raul Wallenberg '15 fellow at the University of Michigan Bjørnar spent a year in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut learning about connections between architecture and identity in protracted camps (2015-16) and used this experience in his diploma project titled " The Island of (in)stability, or a hotel for visiting foreigners in the middle of town, where an architectural proposal is used as a narrative tool to explain and tie together the complex political, social and spatial realities of the Shatila refugee camp.
This month, October 2019, Bjørnar was invited by the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen to hold a seminar and open an exhibition based on his MA-thesis. The exhibition engages in a form of architectural anthropology; where the built environment is mapped and used together with traditional forms of research as a starting point to link the lived experience of displacement to the architecture of the camp.
The Shatila refugee holds more than 20,000 people on an area smaller than four football fields, making it one of the most densely populated places in the world. Despite being over-researched by scholars and over represented in the media, little attention has been given to Shatila’s built environment; how it is shaped, what it expresses and the logic behind it.
The seminar created exciting cross disciplinary discussions, focusing on placemaking and the ability of architecture to function as a critique as well as to provide holistic methods for research. We at Kaleidoscope find it really interesting when architecture can intersect with other disciplines and are excited to see how well Bjørnar's project was received. In case you missed it, the exhibition will be put on display again at CMI from Monday November 4th and we recommend you go and see it!