Over the past week, I’ve seen at least two large mainstream press articles on climate migration, and as more people seem to be tossing around their next move locale—something between North Dakota and anywhere else with the word “north” it. Often, in a simplified, single-issue flattening of the full-range of shifts happening around us.
Migration: The Latest Architecture and News
Three years ago, in the wake of the release of his book Theories and History of the Modern City ("Teorías e Historia de la Ciudad Contemporánea", 2016, Editorial Gustavo Gili), we sat down with the author, Carlos García Vázquez, to discuss this complex and "uncertain creature' that is the modern city, focusing on the three categories that define cities today: Metropolis, Megalopolis, and Metapolis.
Based on an analysis of those "who have traditionally led the way in the planning of spaces" (sociologists, historians, and architects), the book illustrates the social, economic, and political forces that, in service to their own agendas, drive the planning, transformation, exploitation, and development of cities. In 120 years, urban centers have transformed from places where "people died from the city" to bastions of personal development and economic prosperity; however, the question remains —have cities really triumphed?
"Yes", says García Vásquez, "but we have paid dearly for it."
International Competition of Ideas for the multifunctional center, Port of Culture, in Mariupol (UA)
Municipality of Mariupol (UA) invites architects, designers and interdisciplinary teams to submit architectural ideas for a new multifunctional center that will be devoted to the subject of migration, a process that has shaped the city throughout the centuries, becoming an integral part of its identity. The Port of Culture will uncover and explore the less known traits of Mariupol city, and contextualize its local history within larger regional and global processes related to migration.
We are looking for bold and authentic architectural idea for the Port of Culture, that will represent the values and the main themes of the new center,
OPEN CALL - SPRING SCHOOL
‘Borders are for Crossing’
18—25 March, 2019
Migration as a result of changing climate has already begun. And while this poses enormous challenges for governments - particularly at a global moment that seems indisposed towards immigration and immigrants - there is also the concern that heritage will inevitably be lost. In places like Scotland, rising sea levels have put ancient sites at risk; the same is the case in island nations in the Pacific. As mounting environmental risks become more inevitable day by day, cities around the world are turning to more resilient forms of architecture and urban planning to combat both short term shocks and longer term pressures as a means of ensuring their future.
An integral and substantial component of TAW 2018, the International Scientific Conference aims at exploring contemporary research activities and design tactics that deal with the topic of co-habitation from different perspectives and within different fields of interest, directly or indirectly related to architecture, city, and landscape. Through the observation of different tactics adopted by researchers and professionals, the hope is to identify new research and design trajectories.
Call for Papers: TAW 2018 International Scientific Conference | Co-habitation Tactics I Imagining future spaces in architecture, city and landscape
The International Scientific Conference aims at exploring contemporary research activities and design tactics that deal with the topic of co-habitation from different perspectives and within different fields of interest, directly or indirectly related to architecture, city, and landscape.
The Indian Government’s Smart City Mission, launched in 2015, envisions the development of one hundred “smart cities” by 2020 to address the country’s rapid urbanization; thirty cities were added to the official list last week, taking the current total of planned initiatives to ninety. The $7.5-billion mission entails the comprehensive development of core infrastructure—water and electricity supply, urban mobility, affordable housing, sanitation, health, and safety—while infusing technology-based “smart solutions” to drive economic growth and improve the citizens’ quality of life in cities.
In a country bogged down by bureaucratic corruption, the mission has been commended for its transparent and innovative use of a nation-wide “City Challenge” to award funding to the best proposals from local municipal bodies. Its utopian manifesto and on-ground implementation, however, are a cause of serious concern among urban planners and policy-makers today, who question if the very idea of the Indian smart city is inherently flawed.
Over the past two years alone, more than a million people have fled the Syrian conflict to take refuge in Europe, strenuously testing the continent’s ability to respond to a large-scale humanitarian crisis. With the Syrian Refugee Crisis still unresolved, and temporary refugee camps now firmly established on the frontiers of Europe, architects and designers are devoting energy to improving the living conditions of those in camps fleeing war and persecution.
One emerging example of humanitarian architecture is Maidan Tent, a proposed social hub to be erected at a refugee camp in Ritsona, Greece. Led by two young architects, Bonaventura Visconti di Modrone and Leo Bettini Oberkalmsteiner, and with the support of the UN International Organization for Migration, Maidan Tent will allow refugees to benefit from indoor public space – a communal area to counteract the psychological trauma induced by war, persecution, and forced migration.
It is often thought that architecture has a quality permanence. In the third issue of [TRANS-] journal we seek to understand that this is not always true. Exploring how the construction of spaces can speak to impermanence, transient design could be a variety of things: built one day and disassembled another; rootless, wandering, and drifting as a nomad among environmental and geopolitical conditions; or spaces that house impermanent populations or respond to temporary phenomena or needs. With transient space comes participants that condition its purpose and interpretation. Perhaps of equal importance is not the design itself but rather the symbolic significance of its remnants, which has the capacity to endure or pass.
"What is your city? And what do you need to make that entire city yours?" These are some of the questions being posed by co-founding principal of nArchitects, Mimi Hoang, in reSITE’s Small Talks series. The videos, produced and edited by Canal180, were recorded during the reSITE event that took place in Prague earlier this year, titled "Cities in Migration." Reiterated again and again by several of the interviewees is the fact that migration is, in the words of founder and chairman of reSITE Martin Barry, "a natural human phenomenon; everyone is moving to cities to improve their lives."
In this film, presented in collaboration with +KOTE, the After Belonging Agency—Carlos Minguez Carrasco, Ignacio Galán, Alejandra Navarrese Llopis, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, and Marina Otero Verzier—narrate a walkthrough of In Residence, one of the two core exhibitions at this year's Oslo Architecture Triennale: After Belonging – A Triennale In Residence, On Residence, and the Ways We Stay in Transit.
Europe’s migration crisis has intensified the need for cities to develop new tools and strategies to help people build skills, earn a living, and establish their place in society. To address this challenge, New York-based design nonprofit Van Alen Institute has launched Opportunity Space, a competition inviting multidisciplinary teams to propose a temporary mobile structure in Malmö, Sweden that will support a wide range of social programs.
The winning team will receive a $10,000 prize, a $5,000 travel budget, and up to $25,000 to implement their proposal in and around Malmö’s Enskifteshagen Park for two months in spring 2017.
At this year's reSITE conference in Prague, speakers attended from around the globe to present differing perspectives on the challenges of migration, with topics of interest ranging from economics, to city planning to architecture. But as revealed by the following presentations, migration is a topic that requires interrogation on a number of different scales and in a number of different contexts: from the global economic focus offered by Saskia Sassen in her opening keynote lecture, to the focused challenges of designing micro-apartments shown by Mimi Hoang of nArchitects; and even to the unusual case presented by Krister Lindstedt of White Arkitekter, when a migration is undertaken not by individual people but by a whole town at once.
When we started talking about migration [as a conference theme], everybody said ‘don’t do it, it’s too controversial.’ We said that’s exactly why we’re going to do it.
This defiant attitude was how Martin Barry, Chairman of reSITE, opened their 2016 Conference in Prague three weeks ago. Entitled “Cities in Migration,” the conference took place against a background of an almost uncountable number of challenging political issues related to migration. In Europe, the unfolding Syrian refugee crisis has strained both political and race relations across the continent; in America, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has led a populist knee-jerk reaction against both Mexicans and Muslims; and in the United Kingdom—a country only on the periphery of most attendees’ consciousness at the time—the decision in favor of “Brexit” that took place a week after the conference was largely predicated upon limiting the immigration of not only Syrians, but also of European citizens from other, less wealthy EU countries.
In architecture, such issues have been highlighted this year by Alejandro Aravena’s Venice Biennale, with architects “Reporting from the Front” in battles against, among other things, these migration-related challenges. From refugee camps to slums to housing crises in rich global cities, the message is clear: migration is a topic that architects must understand and respond to. As a result, the lessons shared during reSITE’s intensive two-day event will undoubtedly be invaluable to the architectural profession.