my map, Wagna in 1993Hey guys I want to share a very personal project I did for my masters degree with you. The topic was pretty on point considering the refugee crisis. We had eye opening discussions and many took a critical approach through their projects, and this is mine. I worked on architectural illustrations for this course of architectural theory which was about a refugee camp in southern Styria.  A camp my grandmother used to live in for several weeks in 1946. You can find the actual project in German >> here <<. There are many private stories and pictures about the life of my father, grandmother and myself. The project focuses on the village Wagna, where all of us have made very different experiences. Find out about how the city has changed through time, and what the life of a refugee in 1946 looked like.

The refugee camp has slowly become quite a big village, and sadly nobody talks about the past. When people hear about Wagna, if they happen to know it, it is because of the ancient roman settlement. This part of our history seems to completely cover up the very recent refugee camp situation that influenced many families and lives, especially since the camp has been closed only in the 1960’s. I have included my favorite story of  my grandmother below, followed by some illustrations to give you an impression of the architectural situation and how it has changed. Above you can see my map, followed by my fathers and my grandmothers.  I am so happy about the outcome. Actually, because of pretty meaningless conflict/misunderstanding 10 years ago, me and my father and grandmother didn’t have any contact for almost 10 years. I was a very difficult time for both sides, and appeared as an insurmountable hurdle for a very long time. I took this opportunity to finally make things ok again, and I have to say family reunions are pretty amazing. Did you make similar experiences? Do you have relatives with a similar history? Or is this a very unfamiliar topic to you? Let me know 🙂

pelzmannThe topic was pretty on point considering the refugee crisis, we had eye opening discussions and many took a critical approach through their projects.

– Our Wagna. A place, a family, three generations.-

This project is the result of my first Master Studio called „A REFUGEE CAMP IN SOUTHERN STYRIA“ conducted at the University of Technology Graz during winter term 15’/16’. The page is structured in content and navigation. You will find three portraits with short biographies at the starting page. Behind each image an exiting, interactive, mental map is hiding. The cursor will highlight turquoise borders behind certain architecture illustrations. With one click you will find yourself in one of 28 personal stories, filled with old photographs and personal quotes.

Thematic Focus:

 architectural theory
information visualization
refugee camps
camp architecture
architecture illustration

Time Frame:

Nana: 1946 – 1970
Dad: 1953 – 1980
Me: 1990 bis 2012

„As a Swabian German my Grandmother Maria escaped from Hungary in 1946. The refugee camp in the tiny village Wagna, southern Austria became her new home. This is how my fathers and eventually myself ended up in Wagna, which lived on and continues to grow until this day after the camps closure in 1963. Everyday stories, narratives and photographs of my families photo album will guide you through these very personal private mental maps of the village and its surrounding area. The camp architecture and the old road network connects us, and accompanies through the very special history of Wagna.“

church in wagna my grandmas story where my dad used to swim

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