Forensic Architecture has been crowned overall winner of the Beazley Designs of the Year 2018, with their exhibition “Counter Investigations.” The firm has undertaken sterling work in recent years, uncovering miscarriages of justice and international war crimes through architectural analysis of imagery, from official news, satellite footage, and crowdsourced information.
The spatial investigation group, based in Goldsmith University London, is currently nominated for the 2018 Turner Prize. The interdisciplinary group of architects, filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, and scientists have devoted their energy to investigating state and corporate violations worldwide.
The exhibition “Counter Investigations” showcases the group’s work from its inception in 2010 by architect Eyal Weizman. The online crowdsourcing database behind Forensic Architecture was exemplified recently with news that the team intended to collect people’s first-hand accounts of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017 through the Grenfell Media Archive, in order to map them onto a 3D model of the tower and analyze exactly how the tragedy occurred.
Previous examples of Forensic Architecture’s activist work include a collaboration with Amnesty International to create a 3D model of Saydnaya, a Syrian torture prison, using architectural and acoustic modeling in 2016. Reconstructing the architecture of the secret detention center from the memory of survivors-turned-refugees, the project focused attention on traumatic events suffered in the prison.
Heatherwick Studio was also recognized in the awards, winning the Architecture category with their Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town. The scheme, carved from concrete, repurposes a former grain silo into the world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa.
In winning the overall prize, Forensic Architecture joins previous Design of the Year winners such as Adjaye Associates’ National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Heydar Aliyez Center by Zaha Hadid Architects.
News via: The Design Museum