A pop-up exhibition presented by Edinburgh University Design Society

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Exhibiting a body of work inspired by the refugee crisis, and, in the process, showcasing design’s humanitarian power, Edinburgh University‘s Design Society hosted a two day workshop (18th-19th February) for 40 volunteers exploring the importance of good design and its significance in aid-relief through practical challenges.

The show has been curated on the site of the workshop and bears the fruits of the participants’ labour from all stages over the previous two days.

Participants took over the abandoned university building and established their own dwelling structures. Between them, washing lines covered in brainstorming ideas weave through the ‘camp’ and an enormous map, drawn by all 40 participants illustrates the camp’s design from above.

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The groups of young designers each produced a portfolio of designs taking their product through the each stage of the design process, as is the way in professional design firms. A draft was critiqued by a panel of design society committee judges and the final designs mounted will be proudly displayed alongside their structures in this reclaimed space.

An interactive exhibit will allow visitors to vote for their favourite designs by placing a paper cut-out footprint into the dwelling structure of the team with the best design.

A film, including a time-lapse video of the construction process, will be screened in this immersive environment.

The participants were helped by a representative from Shelterbox charity, who gave a presentation and answered many of the design teams’ questions.

Students from all disciplines were invited to volunteer in the programme. This offered the opportunity to consider the nature of the design process through the participants’ multi-disciplinary backgrounds.

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Exhibitions Manager Olivia Bright says ‘We are very excited to present such an exciting and relevant exhibition. Design’s humanitarian power, in addition to its creative excellence, is frequently overlooked in the art world, so we’re proud to present such an egalitarian show.’