Winners of RIBA Beyond Borders

For a refugee or asylum seeker arriving in the UK, where physical borders end, social borders begin. An individual arriving in the country in which they hope to seek asylum should feel a sense of destination and relief. Dangerous and degrading physical borders have finally been surpassed. Yet the struggles of an asylum seeker living in the UK are far from over, as cultural differences, denied rights to work and only £35 a week to live off pose new social challenges.

Humanity is Unity is an interactive installation and a symbol of inclusivity and social integration. As visitors attend the installation each selects flexible bands, and weaves their material, and metaphorically themselves into the frame. The opportunities posed by the structure support playful engagement and encourage social interaction between visitors. Over time, as more people engage with the growing installation, each individual is combined into one solid form. Gradually, an entangled and evolving symbol of acceptance, integration and unity is produced. Once deconstructed, the installation will be unwoven and the material utilised to run a series of craft activities for asylum seekers and refugees



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