In 2015, Berlin received thousands of refugees over night. To accommodate them, new types of refugee camps called “Tempohomes” were constructed, and new typologies of shelter were designed. Within these camps, how did refugees navigate the meanings of a “home”, and how did the camp managers responded to refugees’ appropriations? In this short documentary, the notion of the refugee camp as space of “care and control” is explored. By juxtaposing the initial design of shelters to refugees’ rearrangments of space, the documentary questions the role of architecture: how can we offer displaced populations a better conditions to dwell? Can shelters be spaces of “care” without “control”? How can architecture empower people to express their culture, background and identities in camps and beyond. The film “13 Square Meter” weaves a tapestry of contemporary topics that deal with the ideas of displacement, space, and architecture while opening up the discussion on the similarities and differences between refugees’ shelter design and the production of modernist mass housing in cities.

  • Funding
    German Research Society (DFG)
  • Year
    2020 - 2021
  • Type
  • Co-director
    Kamil Bembnista
  • A view on Tempohomes from an adjacent building (Courtesy: Ayham Dalal and Kamil Bembnista)
  • Planting while re-imagining "home" (Courtesy: Ayham Dalal and Kamil Bembnista)
  • An interview with a camp manager in Berlin (Courtesy: Ayham Dalal and Kamil Bembnista)