Can design help 35 million displaced people in 126 countries?

Every day, all over the world, ordinary people must flee their homes for fear of death or persecution. Many leave without notice, taking only what they can carry. Many will never return. They cross oceans and minefields, they risk their lives and their futures. When they cross international borders they are called refugees.

The Refugee Project is an interactive map of refugee migrations around the world in each year since 1975. UN data is complemented by original histories of the major refugee crises of the last four decades, situated in their individual contexts.

Exhibited during the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennal, brooklyn-based designer Ekene Ijeoma presented “The Refugee Project,” a narrative-time map of refugee migrations since 1975. The responsive interface was developed with UN data to visualize refugee volumes over time, adding historical content to help explain some of the largest refugee movements of the last four decades. The project questions the role of design, its relationship to society, and its ability to be an active agent for change.