Manon Van Hoeckel Creates “neutral” Travelling Embassy For Undocumented Migrants

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Style Academy Eindhoven graduate Manon van Hoeckel is crowdfunding her In Limbo Embassy – a travelling office that aims to facilitate open discussion all around immigration in the Netherlands.

Van Hoeckel’s “embassy of the undocumented” – currently a basic wooden trailer that she purchased and rebuilt herself – is planned to travel across the nation to provoke debate about migrants.

“As well often direct make contact with amongst refugees and society is lacking,” said the designer, who conceived the undertaking during her studies. “For this, the mobile embassy provides a neutral meeting area.”

In Limbo Embassy

The room has been made to offer you an substitute to more “official” embassy buildings, with pared-back white painted interiors, and a single wooden desk exactly where ambassadors can conduct meetings and discussions. The embassy’s orange and blue branding is emblazoned on flags affixed to the front of the trailer.


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Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees will adopt the role of ambassadors as the building journeys via the nation, taking the opportunity to share their experiences with the public.

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Locals, passersby and government officials will be invited to join the debate, using the In Limbo mobile office as an open space for discussion, and a chance to fight prejudices about immigration.

The undertaking is presently looking for support through Dutch crowdfunding platform Voordekunst. Donations will go towards upgrading the office, launching promotion, and covering the day-to-day expenses of the ambassadors.

In Limbo Embassy ambassador

Official portraits of the ambassadors, shot by Belgium-primarily based photographer Alexander Popelier, will also be sold to assistance the campaign.

“I hope the mobile embassy will be inviting and available to a lot of individuals,” van Hoeckel stated in an interview with WOW Amsterdam. “This project’s goal is to reduce the barrier to get in touch with the real folks mentioned in the information and in the papers: the asylum seekers themselves.”

In Limbo Embassy ambassador

“In principle, absolutely everyone is welcome at the squats they stay in at the moment, but that step is also large for many. The embassy and the ambassadors are open to conversation or discussion based on equality,” stated the designer.


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The embassy will embark on a pilot in Amsterdam this September, following which it strategies to travel to Eindhoven for this year’s Dutch Design Week. The task has also been nominated for a Dutch Style Award in the communication class.

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The simple building of van Hoeckel’s mobile embassy supplies a sharp contrast to other official, long lasting embassies.

Buerger Katsota Architects encased the Belgian Embassy in Athens with folding steel shutters and bullet-proof glass, and EXH Layout finished an extension to the Swiss Embassy in Beijing with a glass and bamboo façade above a steel framework.

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