Master Thesis: @ Home in Transition

Nov 2018 | Books & Other Publications, Design for Society, Master's Projects

@HOME in transition

Encouraging asylum seekers towards more self-driven approaches to navigate the unknown they are surrounded with.

Niloufar Gharavi


Melina Hozhabri


Main Supervisors: Linda Blaasvær, Birger Sevaldson

External Supervisors: Adrian Paulsen, Anna Kirah

External Advisor: Jørn-Casper Øwre


Scroll down to see the full report.



Welcome and feel yourself @ Home in transition.

This project is the story of tackling a common affliction today which brought 2 migrant girls from Iran to each other. They shared their backgrounds, hopes, pains and skills together, forming the project which was not only a master diploma, but a real life concern for them both.

This diploma project is meant to be the first pilot of a co-development concept in transition (elaborated inside report) which happened in Norway at the Refstad Transit reception center in Oslo, during winter-spring, 2018.

Despite the differences among reception centers around the world, they carry some similarities (Mouzourakis & Taylor, 2016) which enabled the project to extend its horizons beyond a contextualized student diploma. Consequently, the outcomes of this first pilot in Norway are both specifically designed for Refstad and also for the general context of transition around the world. The designed actions and tools are generalizable and carry general values which can be extracted as core materials to adapt to any other asylum and refugee centers around the world.


The project is following the concept of Co-designing Actions and Facilitating Discussions In Transition (Peter Checkland & John Poulter, 2006) which affords the possibility to learn through changing the system with its own foot print. It is not about a singular or multiple problem-solving project, but about working with a situation rather than defining problems to solve. (Denis Loveridge, 2008)

The project aims to create a different state of mind within the context of transition and influencing the social system with participatory approaches as a fundamental element of dignified reception. By capacity building and raising self-awareness (NORCAP, 2016), the project is meant to motivate the asylum seekers to recall their competences and wishes towards self-efficacy which affect every area of human endeavor by determining the beliefs a person holds regarding his or her power to affect situations.

Consequently, the process of recalling, planning and taking collective actions based on available resources inside the reception center, builds dignity, self-esteem and self-reliance among people. Such approaches could lift mitigating tensions and conflict in the reception facility and build bridges between different groups.

In addition, the inhabitants of each center would co-develop towards a self-initiated future based on their abilities and hopes. This achievement will also remove the false hope of necessarily ending up in the host country and enrich their abilities to bring them broader horizons regardless of the answer they will get from the authorities.