Tahmineh Hooshyar Emamu


In light of the current political turmoil in the Middle-East, the project seeks to analyse the Syrian migration trail through Europe by creating a parallel between the experience of the route and Alice in Wonderland as political allegory in fiction. This is achieved by comparing concepts of time, landscape and dream which are recurring and fundamental elements in both stories.

Similar to the migration route, Alice`s journey through an unknown world which she involuntarily enters is rich in spatial disjunctions, metaphors of political systems and coexistence of various historical periods

Alice is a starting point to explore how our bodies are defined, controlled and transformed by our surrounding spaces. I have reimagined the story through the use of real memories collected from travel journals/ reports/ films and commentaries/ interviews and at times, fictional memories to create the content filled detail in the form of ‘Alice’s alternative wonderland.’

Spatial and temporal mappings and associative modes such as storytelling, imagining and remembering are used as design tools to create a highly topical and site specific architectural language. This project employs fiction in order to process data and pragmatic information and design for a tragic condition, speculating about the potential future of the camp-city. The jungle school for displaced Alice is located in the jungle refugee camp in Calais, France and responds to the need for formal and informal educational spaces, particularly for unaccompanied minors.

The project has been developed from the analogy with Alice`s Adventures in Wonderland and continued with through site investigation and research, design development and the final design proposal for the school, employing children participation workshops as a tool for design. A major part of the project has been influenced by discussions and collaboration with grassroots and charities in Calais in building playgrounds and educational facilities.

©2019 by UNIT 17, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL