Territories Honourable Mention
Work title: Interarctica: The Cultural Rezoning of the Arctic Ocean
The project has a very good point: when designing "a network that transcends political boundaries and instead follows a cultural motivation." it links two of the main topics of the whole cycle, territories and culture.
Is a good project and, if selected as shortlisted or winner, it can help to reinforce the message that the three sub-topics are not independent, but complementary.
Pre-selected [imo]. [EBP]
Posed as a proposal to get out of subsidy dependence, while connecting countries with territorial claims under a research network. Even is not clear that this cultural rezoning would generate enough [unsubsidized] resources to maintain itself and the region, it has considered the Arctic as a coherent hole. [CRN]
INTERARCTICA: 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. Each involved state is represented by a coastal site that is adjacent to existing transportation in the region, yet small enough to not overshadow each other. These sites are: Sachs Harbor (Canada), Thule (Denmark via Greenland), Svalbard (Norway), and the Diomedes Islands (Russia and the United States). Each site hosts a program selected and designed to serve as a physical landmark and key player in the cultural economy of the Arctic, and will work together to shape the new territory as a whole.
Svalbard, the northernmost place in the world that has permanent residents, will serve as the observatory for INTERARCTICA. The focus in Svalbard will be to formulate queries and possible research trajectories that the network may focus on. Utilizing its unique adjacency to the North Pole, these observations and queries will range from the scientific to the humanitarian, as this landscape has much to offer an enormous range of disciplines.
Thule, or Qaanaaq, in Greenland will serve as the school and laboratory for INTERARCTICA. Observations will be tested and explored further through the school and surrounding landscape. Located within Baffin Bay, this is a site that will host a variety of research opportunities that are accessible and easily transported to the other sites via the existing infrastructure of the nearby air base.
Sachs Harbor in the Canadian Arctic Islands will serve as the archive of INTERARCTICA. This is where a catalog will be derived and stored: a physical log of the cultural activity of the network. Located at a pivotal point along the Northwest Passage, this site is strategically located to converge gathered resources from the network. This site thus serves the other three through a well organized documentation of past histories in order to influence future endeavors.
Finally, the Diomedes Islands, the only site that is currently under the jurisdiction of two countries, will serve as the communication hub of the new territory as a museum. This program is significant due to its strategic location in the Bering Straight, the most widely used channel in the Arctic shipping and transportation industry. Symbolically, it also holds an intriguing history in terms of man-imposed boundaries; at their closest point they are 3.8 km apart but exist on opposite sides of the International Date Line, and are thus 23 hours apart. By serving as the disseminator of knowledge for INTERARCTICA, the Diomedes Islands will serve as the literal and figurative bridge between Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States.
These four sites will instigate a trajectory of observation, exploration, evaluation, and communication between entities that currently have strained or nonexistent relationships in the Arctic due to territorial disputes. Economically, this network between just five countries will attract researchers, explorers, and tourists from all over the world: those who desire to contribute or absorb this new resource of the Arctic. By exploiting the most important resource of the Arctic – its cultural value – INTERARCTICA will shift the current subsidy dependence to global contribution.