Furnishings firm IKEA has donated its furnishings and design providers to create a sequence of short-term refugee shelters in Japanese Europe, arrange by the United Nations to supply help and sanctuary to essentially the most weak teams displaced by Russia’s conflict on Ukraine.
The Swedish furnishings model created areas with a homely, comforting environment inside a number of just lately established Blue Dot shelters, that are run by the United Nations Youngsters’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Refugee Company UNHCR to supply short-term lodging for youngsters, households and different at-risk refugees.
Set alongside main border crossings and transit routes, the shelters present a secure place to sleep for a few nights, playrooms for youngsters and personal areas for psychological well being counselling.
“The work requires a complete new set of expertise as a result of we’re designing areas that may help people who find themselves experiencing trauma,” mentioned Martyna Pater, who’s an inside design specialist for IKEA in Kraków, Poland.
“We’re utilizing partitions made from Kallax shelving items and thick curtains to create a quieter and extra snug atmosphere, to make it really feel extra like a house, and we have additionally used decorations and film frames, to make the house really feel as cosy and calm as potential.”
6.9 million individuals have fled Ukraine
Out of the 36 Blue Dot centres that UNICEF and UNHCR have established throughout seven European international locations for the reason that begin of the Ukraine conflict, IKEA has helped to design 10 in Romania and 5 in Poland.
Three extra are at present in growth, whereas plans are being made to arrange extra shelters in Hungary and Slovakia.
The initiative varieties a part of a wider €1 million donation the Inter IKEA Group has pledged to UNICEF’s emergency reduction efforts for the Ukraine conflict.
Because the conflict began in February, greater than 6.9 million individuals have fled Ukraine – 90 per cent of that are girls and youngsters, who UNICEF says are particularly susceptible to abuse, exploitation and trafficking.
Blue Dot centres, which had been first established in 2016, are designed to supply “secure areas” for these weak teams, providing authorized support, psychological well being help and household reunification providers alongside meals and shelter.
“By far, a lot of the refugees who’ve fled unimaginable loss and devastation in Ukraine are girls, youngsters and older individuals or individuals with disabilities, in want of devoted help,” mentioned Marin Din Kajdomcaj, Poland’s consultant on the UN Refugee Company.
“Because of our nice collaboration with IKEA, we are able to design comforting Blue Dot areas the place refugees at higher danger can discover a second to relaxation, really feel secure and guarded once more, entry dependable info, counselling and psychological help, all in an effort to have them begin therapeutic and recovering from traumatising occasions.”
Shelters designed to be handy, child-friendly and site-specific
For IKEA’s design groups, this concerned creating interiors which are simple to navigate and tailor-made to each adults and youngsters alike.
“We’re designing areas for youngsters which are cosy and playful, however we use low furnishings so their dad and mom can see them when they’re talking to advisors,” Pater defined.
“With hundreds of individuals coming to the hubs, you even have to consider crowd management and creating good signage that helps individuals transfer by way of the house to allow them to discover the precise help they want.”
Since Blue Dot shelters are short-term, they occupy a variety of settings from tents to repurposed arenas.
Because of this, IKEA’s designers developed tailor-made interiors schemes that reply to particular websites and scales, slightly than arising with a common template.
“It is all a few quick response and offering a cushty secure house,” mentioned Laurentiu Stefan Serban, a visible merchandiser and store designer for IKEA in Bucharest, Romania. “The goal is to create an atmosphere the place individuals can get well and discover their strengths once more.”
Quite a lot of architects have utilized their experience to creating short-term shelters for these displaced by the Ukraine conflict.
Kyiv apply Balbek Bureau developed a idea for a modular refugee village, which was picked up by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and is now set to be constructed within the nation’s Ternopil area.
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban centered as a substitute on creating extra privateness in present shelters by making use of his modular Paper Partition System, which will be constructed from cardboard tubes and strips of cloth in round 5 minutes.
The photographs are courtesy of IKEA.