Working Nomads: The Relocation of the Individual in a Transient, Industrial Environment
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The lucrative development of the Alberta oil sands has created a unique settlement condition. Current resource developers have proposed an alternative to permanent settlement: remote, temporary, and mono-functional housing camps to support their ever-expanding, and contracting employment demands. By operating under the pretext of temporary accommodation, private companies construct and operate camps emphasizing cost, efficiency and portability. What is being overlooked is consideration of the human dimension. As a result, housing camps face a variety of social issues, including; vandalism, sexual harassment, and substance abuse. This thesis is a study of the architecture and nature of temporary, industry related inhabitation. The intention is to “relocate” the individual in the process by developing a system of flexible organizational patterns, public, and private spaces, and to promote a sense of community in a transient environment that is often characterized as an isolating and dehumanizing experience.