Master-Workshop «Home Asylum»

by Armin Blasbichler

Asylum is a condition of transition and uncertainty where an individual's personality is dormant. His or her expertise and talents are veiled in a state of oblivion. The workshop intends to activate and encourage asylum seekers and refugees to team up with our design students and bundle the overall skills into a powerful joint craft.


Masterstudio Design is committed to see diversity as a potential to investigate in on a daily basis. Our students come from all over the world, with different cultural backgrounds and disciplinary expertise. They moved to Basel with the objective to reassess their professional future. An asylum seeker's motivation to come to Switzerland is fundamentally different, however there is an intrinsic common ground that make both allies: the power of imagining a different future, the spirited act of moving to a foreign living environment, the undergoing of a rigorous application procedure, tackling situations of conflict and controversy with the aim to succeed in all this.

Cross-pollination is key in the evolution of any life-form as well as for ideas. It is a game changer when peers from different backgrounds exchange their expertise, susceptibly integrate the new intakes into their own agenda and take benefit from skills and conceptions, which at first glance have little to do with each other. Behind each person, indifferent of his or her origin, there is (i) a cultural condition, (ii) a physical presence, (iii) specific capabilities and an (iv) intangible «phantom captain».

During the workshops we intend to address these aspects in explorative project-oriented endeavours with the aim to endow asylum seekers and policy makers with new perspectives and tools in a highly controversial subject matter.