Date of Award

Spring 4-2023

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

B.S. in Interior Design


Design and Innovation

First Advisor

Dustin Altschul

Second Advisor

Kim Buchholz


Climate change is affecting the whole world and a need for housing is emerging for climate migrants. Taking into account the current geopolitical landscape there is an indication of a need for an architectural response that must be applied to a variety of evolving sociopolitical contexts throughout the world. This also means that there are several possible solutions. Research indicates that viable design solutions fall into the following categories:

  1. An immediate response that would answer the question of large slums due to inland migration. A long term response that would look at global migration from one country to another.
  2. Many initial migration patterns of climate migrants are within the country due to current political regulations that make international migration across borders incredibly difficult.

There is also the aspect of cultural and linguistic similarity, as well as social systems within the same country that are already familiar to these displaced peoples.

In contrast global climate migration is a trend that is only beginning to be seen in the world. Those that are currently migrating are doing so in relation to socio political standing in their home country. Many are refugees from political turmoil, religious persecution, or war.10 Global migration on the climatic scale is much more subtle, influencing each of these individual factors and magnifying them.

Because of the variability in time scales listed above, current research and considerations fall short of a completely holistic approach to resettlement. Cultural preservation, emotional needs and available resources are not being properly assessed to the extent of the needs of these climate refugees both internally and globally.

Using research including expert interviews, participative studies of affected communities, scientific climatic data, and existing examples of climate refuge housing an evaluation of a new typology is explored.