A joint workshop entitled "Border Materialities" took place on February 9, 2017 at the faculty of architecture and design, University of Petra, between the architecture students of Petra University and the graduate students of architecture at the University of Sheffield, UK. The workshop focused on developing refugee camps in general and al Za'tari camp in specific. The workshop started with a presentation by Architect Aya Musmar, a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield and workshop coordinator specialized in this area of study. The presentation was followed by a series of presentations from the graduate students about their reflections on the Za'tari and Azraq camps.
The presentations were concluded by Dr Nishat Awan, director of the graduate course at the University of Sheffield who guided all students to start the design part of the workshop. Forty two students from both universities (21 from each university) were divided into five groups where each group tackled a specific area/block of the Za'tari camp. Faculty members and distinguished Petra University graduates volunteered as group coordinators who helped the students in the brain storming, discussion, and design phases especially with the viewpoints and reflections from various cultural backgrounds toward the refugees' social, economical and mental status inside the camp.
After hours of hard work all groups presented their analytical studies, proposed designs, and models in front of all participants with concentration on the process of developing these designs that could be applied to the Za'tari camp as well as other camps. Fruitful discussions had a great benefit on all students and participants from both universities.
At the end of the workshop Dr. Khaled Tarazi, head of the department of architecture at Petra University awarded both Dr. Nishat Awan and Arch. Aya Musmar with the University of Petra trophies and all participants with certificates and memorable gifts from the University of Petra. The University of Sheffield delegate, in return, commended the warm reception, great organization , and fantastic hospitality. This workshop forms a starting point for future collaboration between the two universities throughout the mission of global and continual development.