City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic
Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb
Oris - House of Architecture
City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport
Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture
MAGNETIC NORTH, the Arctic lands [From Greenland to Iceland, via Svalbard].
The Arctic has been a territory that has attracted man for centuries. Be it for resources, trade or geopolitical presence, this umbilical link to no-where and everywhere has more often than not been a voyage in time, than the certainty of a geographic point. The magnetic north, being in constant migration, is in constant discordance with its twin, the cultural the coordinate grid, and as a result we are bound and eternally confused by two never matching epicentres; territory doppelgänger. The confusion does not end here.
The surrounding Arctic states that border the Arctic Ocean—Russia, Norway, the United States, Canada, and Denmark (via Greenland)—are limited to a 200-nautical-mile economic zone around their coasts. In this context, half way between Norway and the North Pole, the archipelago of Svalbard has been a key geographic point in the Arctic. From whaling in the 17th and 18th century to coal extraction in the 20th, Svalbard is still a centre for resource exploitation, albeit now shifted towards scientific research and tourism. Bound and pulled by geopolitical agendas, its territory being prime Arctic real-estate, boundaries and claims have only recently been resolved. On a land only 10 degrees from the North Pole and the polar pie with few crumbs left, the new frontiers are vertical, not horizontal; in 2007 Russia placed a flag on the North Pole, under the ice sheet, on the sea floor.
Svalbard can be take as an example [but not the only one] of different case studies in the same region where territories are only maintained by money, far away money. This include huge subsidies from nearby countries such as Norway, and Russia. Another cases include Kivalina, an indigenous community in the northwestern coast of Alaska, which economically depends of natural resources that are passing through a stage of destruction due to climate change and CO2 emissions caused by big corporations, including Exxon Mobile, Shell and BP; or the Aleutanian Islands, once with a economy focused on raising sheep and reindeers and now with its economy primarily based upon fishing, and, to a lesser extent, the presence of American military.
Money also dictates the immigration policies in a direct manner in all these small communities, as Svalbard, Kivalina or the Aleutanian Islands, among others. They represent the type of contradiction needed for territories under definition, of blurred presents and multiple futures.
Open call for a design competition to envision the economic and geopolitical future of the Arctic lands.
The competition looks for a design proposal that tackles the present economic and territorial challenges in the present and future of the Arctic lands.
The outback’s and peripheries are the territories that best reflect our idiosyncrasies, dystopias and utopias, our strengths and weaknesses; a mirror of our society that becomes clearer for being at the edge of the frame.
The entries should aim to envision a critical and formal proposal that engages the present territorial normative and navigates between the strict environmental policy and the growing tourist industry, together with the constant scientific presence.
How can these seemingly antagonistic fields of action and clear political strategies be engaged via a clear design proposal? In communites where everything except fish, has to be flown or shipped in, what alternatives can be devised to cut down on subsidy dependence? Is there a strategy that can circumnavigate natural resource exploitation, alternate sea routes to the economic advantage of each of the Arctic lands? In a land where 65% of the territory is protected, who owns the territory, polar bears, scientists or other future tenants?
Keywords: Heavily subsidised, Flag under the North Pole, Frontier, Tourism, Science and exploration/exploitation, Northern passage
Architect David A. Garcia is founder and owner of MAP Architects, a design platform based in Copenhagen, active internationally and engaged mostly with projects in challenging environments. From flood prone areas, to arctic regions, from the challenges of desertification or abandoned infrastructure, our methodology aims to turn hazards into assets and believe that what exists is only a small part of what is possible. Designs span through various scales and spheres of action, characterized by a close association with the scientific community, as with our collaboration with UNESCO’s water resilience department, or NASA’s JSC. Our methodology engages with the natural and artificial via expeditions, where we survey and record the environment, often with devices of our design, in an effort reveal the hidden, connect the disperse, and speculate on the future to reflect on the “now”.
Garcia is editor and publisher of the international publication MAP, now in it’s sixth issue and is founder of The Institute of Architecture and the Extreme Environment. He is a Degree Course director at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Unit 3, since 2010 and Master Course director at Lund’s School of Architecture (AAD Course), LTH, Sweden since 2010, having taught at LTH since 2002. He lectures regularly and is a guest jury at international architecture schools, and exhibits worldwide. He is a graduate from The Bartlett School of Architecture. Worked at Foster and Partners, London, and has been an Associate Partner at Henning Larsen Architects in Copenhagen. In 2007 he was awarded a prestigious 3-year bursary grant from the Danish Art Council, and was the Frits Schlegel Architectural Prize winner in 2013. Garcia is elected to represent the Danish Pavilion in the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.
After successfully concluding the first competition of the MONEY cycle, the Zagreb Society of Architects sets the stage for the second competition within Think Space Programme, the international series of concept-based architectural competitions. Juror of the Territories Competition, David A. Garcia of MAP Architects invited participants to send in proposals that tackle the present economic and territorial challenges in the present and future of the Arctic lands and upon evaluating entries awarded the First Prize to the entry entitled Who Owns The Arctic, by Owen Wells from United Kingdom, Second Prize to Sarah Cree from Canada, for her work entitled Frozen Fuel Network, Third Prize to Gabriel Ruiz-Larrea and Ledo Pérez Vasquéz from Spain for their entry entitled Invisible High Frequency Trader, and the Honourable Mention to Natalya Egon and Noel Turgeon from United States for their work entitled Interarctica: The Cultural Rezoning of the Arctic Ocean. For juror's comments on the awarded entries and Culture & Society launch - read on.
Featuring a number of established architects and curators, the program continues to re-think space in the 2013/2014 season. Throughout this season of competitions and papers, Think Space is looking for pioneering works at the intersection of architecture, sociology, economics, programming and marketing that radically challenge the fundamental spatial, social and urban relation based on capitalism. The competitions and Call for Papers focus on (1) Territories, (2) Environment and (3) Culture & Society through MONEY lenses, as observed by architects and other visual artists and professionals. Jurors of the competitions are David Garcia (Territories), Keller Easterling (Environment) and Pedro Gadanho (Culture & Society).
Congratulations to all of you who participated in Territories competition. Entries received and evaluated by respective juror of the competition and guest curators were highly elaborated and interesting. We look forward to the works you will submmit for the Culture & Society competition!
Ledo Pérez Vasquéz was born in Padrón (A Coruña, Spain) in 1987, he studies architecture and urbanism at the “Technical University of Madrid” where he is developing his Final Project. During his formation time, he also has been studing at the “Universidade de São Paulo”, “Universität der Künste Berlin” and “Technische Universität Berlin”. He has been selected in several international competitions, as “A’ bois” (Winner/ L'Assaut Vert, Versailles) or “El abrigo de tu hogar” (Honourable Mention/ ASA, Madrid), and has collaborated with differents architecture studios, as “RL&A”, “Manuel Ocaña” or “AceboxAlonso”. Since 2011 he works in the office “Taller de Casquería”, which he is co-founder. The studio developes its researches in a field above performance, architecture and art installation, like in “Argonautas inanes”, “Una Noche de Pelotas” or “Retratos”.
Natalya Egon is a designer based in Chicago, IL where her freelance work aims to explore and challenge the physical via the phenomenological. Egon and Turgeon won the 2013 COLD Competition with their project Second Hinterlands, which was recently published and exhibited in Cleveland, OH by the Cleveland Urban Design Collective. They also received second place for the Chicago Prize in 2012 for their project Superimpositions, which was exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Egon has also been exhibited in Tokyo, Cambridge, and Minneapolis. She served as an architecture instructor at Harvard GSD's summer program, a drawing instructor at Boston Architectural College Summer Academy, and a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota. She has been a guest critic at the University of Minnesota, Illinois Institute of Technology, UT Arlington, and Harvard GSD. Egon holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota. She currently works for Studio Gang Architects and has worked for SOM, SO-IL, and Fabrica718.
Noel Turgeon is a designer based in Chicago, IL. Egon and Turgeon won the 2013 COLD Competition with their project Second Hinterlands, which was recently published and exhibited in Cleveland, OH by the Cleveland Urban Design Collective. They also received second place for the Chicago Prize in 2012 for their project Superimpositions, which was exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Turgeon's work has also been exhibited in Venice, New York, Minneapolis and Atlanta. He has served as an architecture instructor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Turgeon holds a Master in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota. He has previously worked for SOM and UrbanLab.
There is currently a need for a redefinition of architectural practice insofar as the financial crisis has had an effect of leading us in general to question our approach to social and cultural positions. Architects, designers and artists are conscious again of the political implication of their activity, and how they can use their specific knowledge to create a disruptive new reality, far away from the one established in the past recent years. The subversion of market values and the renewed interest in the raison d'être of different cultural projects can be helpful to define new viewpoints based in our current social contradictions. At the same time, these involve the fascinating possibility of [re]constructing the system from its basis. How does this change affect daily cultural life in our cities? How are cities and citizens adapting to these new economic models and reacting to the constant changes we’re living through?
MONEY deals with society by transforming the notion of collectivity and connectivity, among other issues. The relationship between money and society is strong; and clearly it also has implications on education and on the way we exchange knowledge. The emergence of new education tools as MOOCs, on-line courses, etc. allow free access to education in order to produce so-called “better societies”, but what do we have when these new ways of learning and exchanging are also part of a bigger monopoly? Are we repeating the same old models with new names?
Keywords social money, culture, bitcoin, education, informal exchange, technology.
El Rey, popular Mexican song.
Are we able to design without money as we know it? Can we envisage a practice of architecture that finds its rewards through unconventional forms of compensation? As other cultural producers, can architects be seen as initiators of communal projects for which, besides contributing the design skills and problem-solving capacities, they can also research and concoct alternative sources of funding?
In the past years, we have witnessed the emergence of experimental currencies such as the bitcoin, as well as new forms of economical exchange and trade, such as crowdfunding, social money, micropayments, or time banks, all of them based on the trust and support of a given network. Coming from the fields of design and urban transformation, can thesecurrency experiments and moneyless service exchanges be harnessed as catalysts for change? Can they be envisaged as an integral part of new forms of practice?
The way we interact as citizens in this potentially new economic scenario is transforming how we use public space, how we make use of digital tools, and how we create new physical and virtual territories for our own activities and aspirations. Simultaneously, these new forms of interaction can also lead us to explore different forms of compensation for design labor, just as they allow us to find new funding sources for initiating specific architectural projects or broader radical urban interventions.
Given these ideas, the competition asks for conceptual strategies and architectural expressions that may represent a new space for cultural exchange that can be built without money. Proposals are to be design-based and conceived for a location chosen by participants. Proposals must devise innovative financing models supporting the conception and construction of programs that, while based on prototypes of the urban market – from flea markets to produce exchange sites, from specialized bazaars to hacker’s forums –, can also be understood as promoters of cultural exchange.
Pedro Gadanho is the Curator of Contemporary Architecture in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Since he joined MoMA in 2012, he curated the exhibition 9+1 Ways of Being Political and is responsible for the Young Architects Program. Previously, he divided his activity between architecture, teaching, writing and curating. Gadanho holds an MA in art and architecture and PhD in architecture and mass media. He is the author of Interiores 01-‐010and of Arquitetura em Público,a recipient of the FAD Prize for Thought and Criticism in 2012. He was the editor of BEYOND bookazine, writes the ShrapnelContemporary blog, and contributes regularly to international publications. He curated Metaflux at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale and exhibitions such as Post.Rotterdam, Space Invaders, andPancho Guedes, An Alternative Modernist. He was also a chief curator of ExperimentaDesign between 2001 and 2003. Amongst exhibition layouts, galleries and refurbishments, his designs included the Ellipse Foundation in Lisbon, and the widely published Orange House, in Carreço, Family Home, in Oporto, and GMG House in Torres Vedras.
Featuring a number of established architects and curators, the program continues to re-think space in the 2013/2014 season. Throughout this season of competitions and papers, Think Space is looking for pioneering works at the intersection of architecture, sociology, economics, programming and marketing that radically challenge the fundamental spatial, social and urban relation based on capitalism.Juror of the Culture & Society Competition, Pedro Gadanho, the Curator of Contemporary Architecture in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, New Yorkinvited participants to send in proposals for conceptual strategies and architectural expressions that may represent a new space for cultural exchange that can be built without money.
Upon evaluating entries Pedro Gadanho awarded three First Prizes ex-aequo; the First Prize A to the entry entitled Reciprocus: Make, Move, Manage by Haroon Noon, Mariam Iqbal, and Curtis Martyn from United Kingdom, First Prize B to Andrea Maria Jandriček for her work entitled Social Bonds and the Sun Light Exchange from USA/Croatia, First Prize C to Marcel Wilson and Sarah Moos, also from USA, for their entry entitled India Basin Urban Waterfront, and three Honourable Mentions; to Ryan King and Nikolay Martynov from United States for their work entitled #bit .TOTEM, to Christine Bjerke from Denmark for her entry entitled Clubland of the FX Beauties, and to Erica Mattos, Diego Fagundes, and Romullo Fontenelle from Brazil for their entry hack[PUBLIC SPACE].
Reciprocus: Make, Move, Manage by Haroon Noon, Mariam Iqbal and Curtis Martyn
Social Bonds and the Sun Light Exchange, by Andrea Maria Jandriček
India Basin Urban Waterfront, by Marcel Wilson and Sarah Moos
#bit .TOTEM, by Ryan King and Nikolay Martynov
Clubland of the FX Beauties, by Christine Bjerke
hack[PUBLIC SPACE] by Erica Mattos, Diego Fagundes, and Romullo Fontenelle
To review complete selected competition entries visit gallery here.
CULTURE & SOCIETY AWARDED AUTHORS
Mariam Iqbal is an architecture student currently carrying out her Masters of Architecture degree (RIBA Part II) at the Manchester School of Architecture UK. Her interests lie in exploring new ways of intervening by questioning conventional methodologies and exposing new opportunities that often involve the reorganization of a socially charged space. In particular, her focus is in analyzing spatially disconnected fragments that can often become regressively exclusive due to the implementation of regulations and boundaries. This has been manifested in her final thesis project, occurring at a highly contested location, torn between two towns, she proposes a platform of community engagement that reinvigorates the youth by providing new opportunities of education and selling/sharing that expertise in a moving market. In the same way Mariam’s postgraduate dissertation followed a similar theme that concentrated on exploring social relations and how they articulated private walled spaces in an extremely polarized society of Karachi, Pakistan. In addition Mariam has spent one year in practice working with various firms, some of which specialized in event design. She has also participated in international workshops and simultaneously organized non-profit community enriched projects in her hometown, Karachi, Pakistan.
Haroon Noon is a final year Master of Architecture (RIBA part 2) student at the Manchester School of Architecture. Concerned with the experimentation of ideas, his main interests lie in questioning the status quo by finding alternative possibilities to contemporary typologies. This is embodied in his final thesis project that draws on the notion of urban shrinkage by developing a re-appropriation facility that dismantles shipping containers into useable components along a ship canal. The work is site responsive, and sensitive to the context and quality of the situation. His postgraduate dissertation engaged with practitioners and emerging practices to identify the potential drivers dictating a new typology of practice: towards all-encompassing agencies capable of going beyond the boundaries of the built environment. In addition to this, he has spent 2 years in architectural practice, participated in international workshops, organised a studio project at undergraduate level and initiated a social media campaign.
Curtis Martyn is a final year Master of Architecture (RIBA part 2) student at the Manchester School of Architecture. As a Master of Urbanism, his work is concerned with the future of global cities and inspired by investigating, interpreting and intervening networks of urban complexity. This notion is explored within his final year thesis which develops a component based system that transforms industrial waste products into usable building components, combining his passion for business innovation with his interest in material flows. Curtis views design as a liberating tool that transverses people and space, cultures and economic systems. His post graduate thesis entitled ‘The Rebirth of Havana, Re- stitching the metropolis through ecological redevelopment’ proposed a sensitive scheme to reunite Havana’s fragmented inner city through the organic development of self-sufficient neighbourhoods. He has spent two years in architectural practice, won numerous awards, participated in international workshops, organised symposiums and charity events.
After completing a BA at Columbia University (Architecture), an interest in economy led Andrea Maria Jandriček to opportunities with leading financial advisers including a Harvard based hedge fund and KPMG in Croatia. She has assisted property investors from local developers to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with feasibility studies and macro-economic analysis for both commercial and housing projects. She received a Master’s in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Zagreb and focused on the idea of residential consolidation or land readjustment as it applies to transforming urban sprawl into more compact, mixed developments as a Master’s thesis topic. She works both as a Real Estate Analyst for a network of US and European investors as well as on the architectural staff of Design AIDD Architecture, a firm specializing in affordable housing design and its broader issues. Her interests include urban economics, land uses and sustainable development.
Ryan King is an entrepreneur and artist from New York. Ryan received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013 and pursued post-bachelor research at the Institute for Architecture and Urban studies and Columbia Universities Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Ryan has previously worked on the global phenomenon of the free-trade zone as a socio-spatial form of modernity and has published on the spatial dynamics of the Arab Uprisings.
Nikolay Martynov is a Masters of Advanced Architectural Design candidate at Columbia Universities Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Nikolay is from Moscow, Russia, where he studied at the Moscow Architectural Institute. Prior to moving to New York, he worked for ABTB studio, Project-Meganom and Kosmos studio and participated in projects and competitions independently. He plans to further explore relational aesthetics and spatial protocols in an entrepreneurial setting.
Alain Pilote wrote on an article published in 1994 that reality – the environment – is sacrificed for the symbol – money. And what about all the artificial needs created for the sole purpose of keeping people employed? What about all the paper work and red tape that requires the need for a lot of people, packed in office buildings? What about goods manufactured in order to last as short as possible, in the aim of selling more of them? All that leads to the useless waste and destruction of the natural environment.
Searching alternatives to the ongoing capitalist system, it’s impossible no to think on how it leads and affects environmental issues. Oil energy, water and waste are conducted by economical forces beyond its geopolitical, social, economic and infrastructural implications. The cycle of extraction, production and recycling has demonstrated to be a failed system and some of the worst environmental disasters in the past years are related with industrial models and the micro-politics of economic power. At this point and with the access to information and digital tools, the response to environmental issues have reached the masses to enable new models, ideas and innovative proposals. Thus, it’s worth to think which can be the architectural response to the emerging conditions presented by climate-changed terrains?
Keywords: Waste, water, ships graveyards, environment, post-oil city, environmental disasters.
Environment Competition Brief
Consider the pleasures of building removal. Whatever the prodigious efforts associated with erecting architecture, the art of causing it to disappear can be equally violent, compelling or satisfying.
Methods for demolishing, imploding or otherwise subtracting building material are not among the essential skills imparted to architects in training. Believing building to be the primary constructive activity, the discipline has not institutionalized special studies of subtraction. In fact, for architects, building envelope is almost always the answer to any problem, and subtraction is often understood to be the preparation of a tabula rasa.
In the often indifferent ecologies of building subtraction, marketers, financial experts, planners and politicians man several different kinds of remote controls that can detonate building and landscape creating destruction and political disenfranchisement in ways that are only somewhat slower than warfare. This subtraction generally signals loss while accumulation or accretion generally signals growth.
But every act of building is already an act of subtraction. Most buildings today are designed as repeatable spatial products with rapid cycles of obsolescence. Financial industries surround the seemingly static and durable building with a volatile balloon of inflating and deflating value, be it a small house, a massive sports stadium or a 4000-room casino. Populations migrate into and away from cities causing both rapid growth and rapid decline. Buildings subtract other building because they replace a previous structure but they can also, just by their often toxic presence, cause surrounding buildings and landscapes to tumble to the ground.
In the wake of recent crises, catastrophes and population shifts, as buildings turn over and radiate negativity, a significant portion of the heavy machinery used to construct buildings is also now busy taking them apart. Ruin and decay has its own pornography. Demolition has its own TV shows. Disassembly and teardown are now popular art forms. The newest approaches to building removal even appear to retract skyscrapers into the ground. Finally, it is easy to see, with half closed eyes, an accelerated time lapse, like harvest and cultivation,within which large swaths of building and landscape seem to be simultaneously built and unbuilt—an economy wheresubtraction is the other half of building.
Bringing its own aesthetic pleasures, subtraction tutors an enhanced repertoire of form-making and opens onto a redoubled territory of endeavor. Space making through clearing is one pleasure. Still, subtraction is not simply absence but a moment in a set of exchanges and advances, aggressions and attritions.
Building subtraction, as a heavy industry and a design protocol, is an emergent lucrative enterprise, a source of employment and a political instrument of extrastate governance. A subtraction protocol might be appropriate in many parts of the world where, for instance, sprawling overdevelopment has attracted distended or failed markets, where development confronts environmental issues, where development would be wise to retreat from exhausted land or flood plains, or where special land preserves are valued for attributes that development disrupts.
A subtraction economy may mark the end of an era within which building is treated primarily as financial instrument. While there areelaborate schemes for manipulating the virtual values of buildings and landscapes—in real estate markets or carbon markets—there are fewer spatial variables of value. Materializing risks and rewards in a physical, spatial constructs, shares and mechanisms in an alternative portfolio of values can be traded in an parallel market. Active forms can be designed as spatial levers, ratchets or offsets in this market. These negotiations can stabilize, compete with or even overwhelm financial markets to grow, contract or erase development.
Financial systems are good at haphazardly deleting building and landscape, but since architects have been trained to make the building machine lurch forward, they may know something about how to put it into reverse.
Dear Think Spacers,
We are happy to announce the results of the final competition of the MONEY Cycle as announced during a mini.symposium Environment/ Subtraction in Zagreb on May 9th by the juror of the competition - Keller Easterling.
We sincerely thank all authors who have submitted their proposal and look forward to the next competition!
ENVIRONMENT/ SUBTRACTION COMPETITION
1ST PRIZE EX AEQUO
The weak monumental
ARISTIDE ANTONAS OFFICE
Aristide Antonas, Katerina Koutsogianni // Greece
1ST PRIZE EX AEQUO
Inverting the Periphery
Ryan King, Nikolay Martinov, Betty Chung Lin Fan // USA
Scenarios for A Post-Post Crisis
Dimitris Grozopoulos // Greece
HONOURABLE MENTION #1
Byrony Roberts // USA
HONOURABLE MENTION #2
Jack Morley, Lauren Chapmann // USA
HONOURABLE MENTION #3
The Great South American Pipeline: A Commons Protection Zone
Godofredo Nobre Pereira, Samaneh Moafi // UK
HONOURABLE MENTION #4
Trusting Nauru: 14 Deposited Lands
Natalya Egon, Noel Turgeon // USA
Results were announced on May 9th 2014 in Zagreb, Croatia.