We are developing A Refugee Pattern Language (RPL) for refugees in Europe. The pattern method approaches social and spatial aspects in a uniquely combinatory way and is used by numerous social disciplines, as well as environmental disciplines and architecture. Originally written by Alexander, Ishikawa, Silverstein, and others, A Pattern Language (APL) comprises a collection of 253 patterns, which range in scale and mode from large regions, to cities and towns, to construction details (Alexander, Ishikawa et al, 1977). In APL, the traditional use and idea of patterns has been transformed into a modern format and system that can be used by designers, users, and builders alike. Qualitatively, a pattern can be defined as a generic solution to an environmental context problem, derived from functional arguments. A pattern language can be defined as a coherent set of generic solutions to a complex problem. Patterns can also be considered archetypal solutions to environmental problems, and examples of good environments, which can be applied repeatedly for similar contexts or used and adapted to local conditions and specific communities. The original book, A Pattern Language, provides a general reference and point of departure for creating pattern languages for various types of socio-spatial projects in different locations that can help make sense out of otherwise complex situations such as planning, design, and decision-making processes, as well as trying to understand the refugee situation.
In summer 2016, the PUARL team completed initial field research in the German communities of Borken, Kassel, Essen, Frankfurt, and Berlin. Interviews and site observations during this research trip and from four more trips by Hajo Neis in 2015-2017 have informed this draft pattern language. The formation of a ‘Refugee Pattern Language’ (RPL) is one of the key building blocks of PUARL’s Initiative Refugee Integration in Europe.
1. The Refugee Family (Draft available)
2. Leaving Home – Escape Journey (Draft available)
3. Arrival Country – Welcome Place
4. Welcome City – Urban Life and Infrastructure (Draft available)
5. Neighborhoods, Towns and Villages
6. Housing, Living, and Live-Work
7. Economic Integration: Working and Work-learning