The term ‘Architectural Forensics’ varies in definition. In short, it refers to the investigation of the built environment, whether that be in relation to crime and injustice or an investigative process to discover the root cause of damage and deterioration in buildings. Often forensic architects are invited to identify potential issues and advise in how to avoid them. The role of this architect is to remain unbiased, identify issues within construction, determine potential causes and suggest solutions. They are to uncover factual evidence, which may aid in future construction or provide answers to issues associated with a particular built environment.
Forensic Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
“Since I remember myself, I have wanted to be an architect… I could see the way that neighborhoods were organized. I could see the separation. I could see the frontier areas between the Palestinian community and the Jewish majority,” expresses Eyal Weizman in conversation with Louisiana Channel, in regards to understanding the ‘political significance’ of architecture and the potential of the occupation as a critical tool for understanding the world.
Eyal Weizman was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Forensic Architecture’s studio in London, in April 2022. As the head of Forensic Architecture, he is renowned for his part within the multidisciplinary research group, using a combination of architectural technologies and techniques to investigate instances of state violence and violations of human rights across the globe. Growing up in Haifa, Israel he developed an understanding of the political connotations within architecture from an early stage.
An Upcoming Exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Showcases the Multidisciplinary Work of Forensic Architecture
The upcoming exhibition in The Architect's Studio series hosted by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art presents the work of Forensic Architecture, a multidisciplinary research group operating at the intersection of architecture and investigative journalism. Led by architect Eyal Weizman, the collective of architects, artists, software developers, journalists, lawyers, and animators investigates and documents human rights violations across a wide range of global conflicts.The practice constructs models and virtual spaces to share a new perspective on specific events.
Forensic Architecture’s Samaneh Moafi on Tear Gas Use in Chile: “Toxic Gas Is Not Only Colonizing the Public Space of Our Cities”
On October 18, 2019, a 4-cent increase on Santiago's Metro fare caused an uproar on the streets of the Chilean capital. The citizens' anger escalated quickly, leading to demands of immediate structural changes in the Chilean economic and social system. Alongside the people's call for change, daily clashes between protesters and the police led to excessive use of tear gas by the latter across the country.
Even though the use of tear gas is banned in warfare since 1925, police worldwide are allowed to use it for the sole purpose of scattering protesters, as had happened in Chile. The most iconic example can be seen in Plaza Dignidad (Dignity Square), previously known as Plaza Italia ahead of the social outbreak that erupted in the country: everyday, a camera records the activities around the iconic roundabout, capturing the constant and excessive use of lachrymatory gas every Friday.
The third Chicago Architecture Biennial will occur from September 19, 2019, to January 5, 2020, and yesterday the first group of contributors to the 2019 edition and publication was announced. This year’s theme, “...and other such stories,” will bring together a multi-faceted and international exploration of architecture and the built environment. Newly commissioned projects for the Biennial will highlight issues including public housing, social justice, and the appropriation and preservation of the natural environment.
Eyal Weizman, director of Forensic Architecture, will lecture at the Barbican in cooperation with The Architecture Foundation discuss the group's practice combining architecture and digital forensics.
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 more architecture students that I converse with, the more I hear this common dissent amongst them: “I don’t want to become an architect.” Despite participating in long studio hours for a five-year professional degree, somehow very few peers actually want to become the kind of architects that create buildings.
Aside from the conventional alternatives of interior or graphic design, there is a rising trend in the popularity of firms that use architectural skills for beyond the scope of designing luxury condominiums for wealthy clients. For prospective architects (and current ones), below are examples of firms that may not be what one initially imagines to do with their degree, but a taste of the potential of what they can.
This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "How a DIY Floating Universiity in Berlin Could Be An Unorthodox Prototype for Design Education."
On the north side of Tempelhofer Feld, an airport-turned-park in southern Berlin, lays a large ditch. Surrounded by lots and bungalows and noticeable only to those in the know, this 19th century basin holds rainwater drained from the airport’s defunct runways before it is fed into Berlin’s canal network.
The spatial investigation group Forensic Architecture has been nominated for the 2018 Turner Prize. Based at Goldsmiths University in London, the interdisciplinary group of architects, filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, and scientists have devoted their energy to investigating state and corporate violations worldwide.
The nomination represents the second time a team of spatial designers has been recognized by the prize in its three-decade history, following on from 2015 winners Assemble.
Since the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the people of London have been searching for an answer to the exact cause of the fire that killed 71 people. Now Forensic Architecture—the Goldsmiths, University of London-based research group headed by Eyal Weizman—seeks to aid in the search for answers with their new Grenfell Media Archive. This online crowdsourcing database intended to collect people's first-person accounts in order to map them onto a 3D model of the tower and analyze exactly what happened to the tower.
In this film produced by Vice, Eyal Weizman—director of London-based research agency Forensic Architecture—explains how his team have developed methods of investigating bombings in areas of conflict across the globe. Using cellphone footage, examining floor plans, and utilising road maps, Weizman brings together scientists, journalists, and graphic designers in order "to analyze destroyed buildings for evidence of human rights abuses."
Detective Architects: A Look Into Forensenic Architecture's Interdisciplinary Analysis of "Crime Scenes"
This article was originally published on TiP, Balmond Studio and is republished here with permission.
When an atrocity occurs how do we unpack the truth, using the learnings of architecture, science and art to seek justice?
His team of architects, filmmakers, designers, lawyers, scholars and scientists are hired not by the State, but instead work with international prosecution firms, NGO’s, political organisations and the UN, to investigate ‘crime scenes’ – like forensic detectives.
Forensic Architecture Digitally Reconstruct Secret Syrian Torture Prison from the Memories of Survivors
Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at the University of London, in collaboration with Amnesty International, has created a 3D model of Saydnaya, a Syrian torture prison, using architectural and acoustic modeling. The project, which was commissioned in 2016, reconstructs the architecture of the secret detention center from the memory of several survivors, who are now refugees in Turkey.
Since the beginnings of the Syrian crisis in 2011, tens of thousands of Syrians have been taken into a secret network of prisons and detention centers run by the Assad government for a variety of alleged crimes opposing the regime. After passing through a series of interrogations and centers, many prisoners are taken to Saydnaya, a notoriously brutal “final destination,” where torture is used not to obtain information, but rather only to terrorize and often kill detainees.
Located about 25 kilometers north of Damascus, Saydnaya stands in a German-designed building dating from the 1970s. In recent years, no meaningful visits from independent journalists or monitoring groups have been permitted, so no recent photographs or other accounts exist of its interior space, except for the memories of Saydnaya survivors.