Architectural research initiative Arch Out Loud has released the winners of the Tenancingo Square Mediascape international open-ideas competition aimed to engage architects with the topic of human trafficking. The competition challenged participants to reimagine the town square of Tenancingo, Mexico in response to the prevalent issues of sex trafficking existing in the area. “With proposals from both regional designers and designers from other parts of the world, the competition brought forth a large variety of approaches to an extremely sensitive, but immediate, societal problem” Arch Out Loud said in a statement. “Being the first architectural competition to address human and sex trafficking, Arch Out Loud hopes that the culmination of this exploration is only the beginning of the field’s examination of its’ role in the matter.”
In the competition designers explored the “catalytic potentials” of architectural intervention, aiming to bring positive change through the introduction of what Arch Out Loud has termed a “transformative mediascape.” “Mediascape” is a program that suggests being defined as the combination of a public landscape with connective media technologies - two important components in the modern square
The various mediascapes reveal how architecture plays one of the most important background roles to the shaping of society and culture – Arch Out Loud.
Read on for images and summaries from the winning proposal and four runners up below:
1st Place: Parallel Realities
Participants: Paweł Kuczyński, Mikołaj Cierlak, Wojciech Losa (Politechnika Śląska)
Location: Gliwice, Silesia, Poland
From the Architects: This is penetration of two worlds, the real and digital one, which enriches reality. Presence of another culture in public space has immediate feedback on quality of these places. It fulfils events such as carnivals, outdoor concerts or marketplaces. This solution is aiming to avoid stigmatization of places like Tenancingo. It is easy to point out that it is the place where human trafficking happens, but we can’t forget that it is reaction to existing “demand”. Anyway, despite of issues, the main function of the proposed structure is creating the bond and dialogue with various public spaces.
Due to that fact we can adapt program to variety of needs, grid is virtual space division - which expands and shrinks as we are shaping space with urban furniture. Nonetheless all of specified functions can be fruitfully introduced without sacrificing existing local context. Education is straightforward connected with interaction; the fact that we interact with people around the world gives us an alternative view. The function of the marketplace is going to be divided by grid, stands can be organized between them and heads of poles may carry lightweight material shading. Events such as carnivals where the square should be able to accommodate big amounts of people are not going to be restricted by volumetric architecture.
Runner-up: Under Construction
Participants: Nikolaj Salaj, Tin Troha, Žan Šabeder (Fakulteta Za Arhitekturo Ljubljana)
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
From the Architects: Why erect a static structure when the building process is far moretransformative and engaging in itself? A continuously changing environment induces an equally constant transformation in its society as well. A minimal addition creates countless new scenarios in a space left mostly untouched, preserving its familiarity. This superposition of ready-mades integrates into its new context by housing and complementing its existing programmes but remains subversive and transformative through its omnipresent mediascape elements. The constant presence is extended to the entire city by the crane itself, functioning as a symbolic marker. Always present, far and near. Always active.
Runner-up: Seeing Voices
Participants: Roberto Rosales, Barbara González Miranda
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
From the Architects: Sex trafficking is based in human objectification. We believe that in order to stop this abuse we need to engage both victims and felons and confront them in a way that celebrates the human aspects of the survivors by empowering them and starting a healing process. We created a program that reactivates community life with green and recreational areas. The lampposts that cover the entirety of the plaza serve also as sensors that capture the surrounding noise and regulate messages displaying in the pavilion’s façade. This phrases are delivered by those affected by exploitation giving them back their humanity.
Runner-up: You Are Everywhere
Participants: Soohyoun Nam, Hyejin Lee, Kyungjo Choi
Location: Gyeonggi, South Korea
From the Architects: An Apparatus to integrate Place of Trafficking, and that of Community: In a sad region where acceptance and commitment of human trafficking prevails, restoring sense of community in every space is the key. The breaking of everydayness of vice begins with subversion of ‘business’ area where the unfortunate events occur, and the safe space of community and family. By forming a coexisting condition of the two separate places, one will realize the irrationality of respecting family on one hand, and violating others with the other. To undermine the boundary, we propose a media-wall that works in tandem with surveillance cameras.
News via: Arch Out Loud.
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