Headshot of Anooradha Siddiqi

Assistant professor of architecture Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi has published a new book in the “Theory in Forms” series at Duke University Press, titled Architecture of Migration: The Dadaab Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Settlement. The book counters the notion that environments associated with migration are provisional, lacking both history and architecture. Focusing on the Dadaab refugee camps established in 1991 at Kenya’s border with Somalia, Siddiqi demonstrates that a refugee camp is a labor of architecture whose aesthetic and material landscapes reveal distinct histories, futures, politics, and rhetorics. Moving beyond restrictive connotations, she proposes considering refugee camps as complex settlements, ecologies, and material archives of colonial practices, marking long traditions of land contestation and the paradoxes of humanitarian settlement over decades and centuries.

Architecture of Migration has received significant acclaim. Mabel O. Wilson, Columbia University professor of architecture and Black studies, calls Architecture of Migration “an unparalleled study of how neoliberal policies strategically and violently underdevelop spaces for the world’s most vulnerable people.” In another review, CUNY Graduate Center professor of anthropology Miriam Ticktin asserts that “this beautifully written and brilliantly original work elucidates a seemingly irresolvable tension, central to the condition of migrants, between the transience of the refugee category and how refugees’ lives are anchored in hard infrastructures and histories.” Most recently, Architecture of Migration was featured in the publisher's series "The Weekly Read," where Ticktin's review was prominently featured.