Shigeru Ban in Conversation with Mohsen Mostafavi about Designing for Refugee Relief

In the early weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pritzker-winning architect Shigeru Ban flew to Chełm, Poland, to aid in the development of refugee shelter infrastructure. In a conversation with Mohsen Mostafavi, he discusses his experiences designing and producing partitions for large shelters after the 1995 Kobe and 2004 Niigata earthquakes in Japan, and how designers can apply his techniques to emerging crises in Ukraine and across the world.

This interview was conducted for the In Conversation series on, a multifaceted research project at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. conducts its work through academic activities, as well as design research, while inviting people from a variety of fields to share their voices, viewpoints, and ideas as we think together about the future of the city.