Ashika Singh is currently a PhD researcher at KU Leuven’s Faculty of Architecture. She works on the intersection of dwelling and politics in experiences of displacement, namely in the refugee experience of humanitarian camps. Her work is grounded in a phenomenological approach, believing in the ability of phenomenology to reveal what it is in the human condition that allows us to build again spaces of inhabitation and public expression despite the trauma of forced and protracted migration. While she engages with canonical figures such as Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt, she holds into contention conventional notions of ‘dwelling’, hoping to reconceive the ‘home’ under a framework of ‘homelessness’ developed by a rather unknown German philosophical anthropologist, Helmuth Plessner. She draws this philosophical analysis in relation to research on refugee studies that explicate the architecture of camp sites and connect certain architectural expressions developed during protracted displacement to the makings of urbanism. Her project is supervised by Filip Mattens and Julia Jansen.
Ashika completed her undergraduate degree in Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin in 2014 and one year later, her Masters at KU Leuven’s Institute of Philosophy. In 2015, she defended her master theses on street homelessness (entitled: ‘No Place to Call Home. A Critique of the Operative Dichotomies in our Thinking of Homelessness,’ supervised by Julia Jansen). She has recently become a committee member of the British Society for Phenomenology.