In London 2016, we held our first public workshop designed to encourage people to imagine a future for the city and assemble a physical model of their design using a variety of materials.

The dream to rebuild Aleppo is one that Mohammed wishes to share with every child that had to flee the violence of the conflict. His process of reconstructing the city’s fallen landmarks is something that can be emulated by anyone with access to paper, paint and glue.

At Room One in London, the Unfold team and I captured participants’ models using a technique called photogrammetry which allowed us to render the physical buildings as 3D digital assets, and place them in a virtual reality environment. The models were then uploaded and made viewable in VR using Google Cardboard headsets.

Sound recordings and touch points were added to the physical models creating an interactive experience that demonstrated how the cityscapes could help preserve the polyphonic spoken histories of their inhabitants.

We hope to take these workshops into schools and festivals as well as refugee camps in Turkey and Lebanon so that we can continue to encourage children to dream of a better future for the homes that have been so badly afflicted by the war.