Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Tzen Chia

MA work

The New Mobile

The New Mobile:

Migration is a multi-stop process.

Palermo is merely a gateway, the capital of Sicily is geographically strategically situated as the Key Gateway to Europe on the Central Mediterranean Route of Migration.


The Palermo Charter of International Human Mobility put forth by its Mayor, Orlando Leoluca pushes for Freedom of Movement between Borders allowing an increase of mobility beyond borders.

In such a future, where transience becomes a state of default, in search for opportunity, This project, celebrates new forms of living in transit.

Through setting up a Protocol with the testbed as Palermo. The Initiation of this project sets out the feasibility and momentum of interventions that set the foundations of the support of a wider network of infrastructure that may evolve to cater to other transient visitors in other cities, catering to this new demographic of people with an increase in mobility, through the creation of interventions through infill strategy in sites across existing cities, Typological Shifts and a Basic Self Build Construction Technique to get things off the ground. Benefitting both the locale and the influx, but revitalizing and contributing to diversity in the city.

Through looking into the Asylum Process, deconstructing the everyday and mapping the process of a day in the life of migrants who have just arrived, necessary to get their feet off the ground, of going through Legal Processes and consultation, Accommodation, Food, Inventory to Learn and Work and places for Leisure. With the many existing Organisations and Initiatives that facilitate and contribute to Improving and Providing for people in transit.

Extrapolating from current trends, such as Ubiquitous use of Mobiles for communication and collaboration, the advent of the arrival city and celebration of Intercultural cities, the project aims to leverage on these to maximise the use of these spaces to explore new ways of living, with an increase of mobility beyond borders to redefine a visitors relationship with the city, taking existing domestic typologies, and shifting them to prioritize communality. These spaces have a gradient between private, personal, communal and public spheres. Encouraging inclusion and collaboration. Through an expanded domesticity, decentralised and distributed, encouraging movement and involvement within the city.

Through Initiative, Project Management, Design, Construction, Conversion and Activation.

Each Intervention Typology programmed to a specific porosity. From Private Accommodation with communal spaces that grow into the public spaces on the street, to Open Kitchens celebrating commensality and interacting with the wider Food Ecology of the City. An Object Library and Workshop, where goods are stored, improved on and loaned out for the duration of their stay. While sheltered courtyard spaces are used as resource libraries and quiet working and meeting spaces. Juxtaposing differing programs bring about otherwise unlikely collisions and serendipitous moments in a place.

Together, these Interventions complement one another forming a city within a city.


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2018

  • Degrees

  • BSc Architecture. University College London
  • Experience

  • WATG, Architectural Designer
  • Awards

  • Bloomberg Bursary Prize,2016.