The results from the first brief of Think Space's MONEY themed cycle of competitions, Territories, have been announced. David Garcia (MAP Architects), juror of the Territories competition, invited participants to send in proposals "that tackle the present economic and territorial challenges in the present and future of the Arctic lands." See them all, after the break...
First Place: Who Owns The Arctic / Owen Wells (UK)
"The Arctic is home to the world’s largest untapped gas reserves, 13% of the worlds remaining oil, and vast mineral deposits. These commodities, compounded by the effects of climate change, have exposed the Arctic to corporate profiteering and the potential for geopolitical tension caused by unresolved sovereignty claims.
The project proposes "three illicit, fictional money making schemes specifically designed for the unique environmental and political composition of the region. These schemes enable local communities to compete in the financial environment of the arctic by viewing conflict and greed as another of the regions resources. They encourage the manipulation of mineral speculation, and systems of insurance and finance to support local communities through immoral behaviour. The plans for these schemes are deliberately imperfect, simplistic, and crude, but serve to hint at the complex, and increasingly taught relationship between the environment, ecology, politics, and business of the Arctic."
Second Place: Frozen Fuel Network / Sarah Cree (Canada)
"Now more than ever, the rough-hewn terrain of a landscape unknown has been buffed and polished as developed countries contemplate and speculate above and below its surface. To many, the Arctic North is the next frontier for resource extraction and information storage; a hostile environment now tempered and tamed by a warming climate and infrastructural advancements. But to the few 32,000 inhabitants of Canada’s northern-most territory of Nunavut, the Arctic North is familiarly called home, or in Inuktitut 'Our Land'."
"The Frozen Fuel Network, regionally owned and operated, locates methane hydrate fields off-coast of local communities and harvests the naturally releasing methane hydrate bubbles with a low-tech pressurized net. Surface and subsurface rights are not contested as the harvesting of methane hydrate falls in the same category of local fishing privileges. The methane harvester is anchored above fissures in the ocean floor and traps escaping methane hydrate in its pressurized tanks. Upon reaching capacity, the buoyant harvester floats to the surface for collection."
Third Place: Invisible High Frequency Trader / Gabriel Ruiz-Larrea and Ledo Pérez Vasquéz (Spain)
"The new technological-artificial context which is definitively removing us from the idea of territory as a physical condition, stable and permanent, has already become real. But as the real is increasingly a scenography of the virtual, which has imposed its instant speeds on our way of communicating and operating, we should start thinking how are its new categories redefined. Space time laws have changed completely. The territory has become a delocalized picture of itself. We can even travel without moving, surfing the net from our computers. This new conditions influence completely the way we produce benefit From the geographical sources, so we have to give new answers adapted to the virtual territory."
"The Invisible High Frequency Trader is an strategic location for internet servers materialized as a series of modules which generate both, a strong data proces sor enabling transactions and a series of variable attached conditioned spaces.The basic configuration needs three modules to operate. Two covered spaces and a refrigeration pool. In both higher spaces is where servers are located and artifitial dimas can be adjusted. The proposal is based on the use of geometry and air - the main material - as a debate about different models of the specific program relations, technology and energy management or consumption."
Honourable Mention: Interarctica: The Cultural Rezoning of the Arctic Ocean / Natalya Egon and Noel Turgeon (USA)
"The Cultural Rezoning of the Arctic Ocean is a proposal to determine and identify an unprecedented oceanic territory for the purpose of serving the global interests of and for the Arctic. The current territorial outlines of the exclusive economic zone reveals a vast area that has multiple claims and possible uses but no common agreement between the involved nations."
"Interarctica identifies key land nodes of each nation to be included in a network that transcends political boundaries and instead follows a cultural motivation. The goal is to utilize the current economic inclinations of these nations to support a multinational and cultural presence invested in research and discovery, which in turn would motivate its own economic growth over time. This would result in shifting the heavy resource-based economy to a more diverse model that includes the global dissemination of knowledge, history, and technology. Each site focuses on a step of the typical research process: observation, exploration, evaluation, and communication. The sites have been selected by studying geography, historical expeditions, shipping lanes, inhabitation, economic histories, and territorial ownership."
To read the juror's comments in full click here.
MONEY follows in Think Space's aim of bringing together both world renowned and established figures with emerging voices (students and professionals) within the fields of architecture, landscape, design, the arts and the humanities. Organised by the Zagreb Society of Architects, these international, conceptual competitions continue to attract significant worldwide interest.
To learn how to participate in the second brief of the MONEY cycle of Think Space competitions - Culture & Society - click here (deadline: 31st January 2014).