With the refugee crisis ongoing, three refugee projects in Vienna were part of Austria's 'Places for People' submission to the Venice architecture biennial being held in 2016. Three teams were commissioned to work closely with NGOs, planning and mentoring the adaptation of facilities for the accommodation of refugees.
One of the three projects was in progress at the 'Haus Erdberg' centre – a basic services facility in Vienna which housed more than 600 asylum seekers. In the framework of a 'Social Furniture' project about 4000 m2 of Doka panels were being turned into items of furniture for everyday use. The furniture was assembled by architects from the EOOS design studio and refugees eager to help in a workshop that was set up directly inside the centre. In that way residents of the Caritas refugee accommodation not only got essential furniture for their daily life but also a task and perspective. At the same time, the goal was to arouse the interest of young people for handicraft and other professions.
Another important part of the project was a catalogue with instructions on building the furniture, so as to promote self-organisation on the part of the residents. A model project that will have a sustained effect long after this year's architecture biennial has closed its doors.