A full scale construction and installation, the (a)way station offers an architectural critique of the temporary spaces of the contemporary displaced subject--the migrant. It becomes an abstract vessel that contains the belongings of peoples in migration and examines how the global space of migration is the nexus of private desires and public forces that often impacts local conditions.
We observed that people in migration do not impact cities in immediately apparent ways. The processes by which they negotiate their cultural values with their new urban settings unfold largely hidden from the city’s public realms, and instead occur within the intimate confines of their new domestic spaces. Unlike conventional residences, domestic space for many migrants is inherently provisional—it is either the first transition point in a long period of adaptation and assimilation or a place where life is suspended preceding a return to their original home. In both cases these homes constitute (a)way-stations between the memory of a previous home and an imagined home to which they aspire.
Here in these (a)way stations migrants re-assemble their material possessions--transported objects of sentimental value and newly acquired objects of consumer culture. Rather than moving immediately into homes that afford the separation of daily activities into rooms--living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom--these interim homes combine these spaces into dense packed domestic milieus. Akin to the overflowing, ad-hoc collection of possessions, this temporary space unleashes for the migrant a tumult of emotions-- anxiety, longing, relief...waiting.
Paul Kariouk, Kariouk and Associates
Carla De La Cruz
New York State Council for the Arts
University of Florida School of Architecture
California College of the Arts