According to a 2015 study by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), one in 122 people is a refugee, an asylum-seeker, or is internally displaced. Housing for these displaced people ranges from flimsy tents to shipping containers, and architects attempting to offer humanitarian design solutions in the face of crises meet with mixed success. As Sarah Hucal writes for Curbed, some solutions are more successful than others, citing examples of projects by MASS Design Group and the Swedish furniture behemoth IKEA. Yet architects with the best intentions sometimes miss the mark in terms of serving the communities they are attempting to remediate, either through naïveté or unwittingly patronizing interventions: "Possessing a desire to help isn’t synonymous with knowing how to do so in a way that won’t harm vulnerable communities."

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