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City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic


Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb


City Acupuncture


Oris - House of Architecture




City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport


Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture

Work title: Time off in Diomedes

Juror's comment
I really like the idea of using natural and/or existing infrastructures as building materials. Using ice to link the islands in winter time, when the sea is imprisoned in ice ... or a former Marine Aircraft Carrier between the islands instead of spending money in constructing new infrastructures. This is the main point, in my opinion: "In other terms money is not the main currency on this territory. Almost all inhabitants are relatives to the 3d degree, and a real strong community sense is what keeps them altogether. Helping, supporting and exchange of benefits are how the village keeps going." Pre-selected [imo]. [EBP] I do agree is a simple proposal with a captivating history... which will be inevitable disrupted and maybe destroyed by tourists reaching the place to have a time journey. Even evocative, placing a Former Aircraft Carrier doesn''t help to add value to current narrative. I would not select it. [CRN]
Little Diomede Island, Bering Strait (United States of America) Nowadays a country is defined by its territory, its position, the borders he shares with others but most importantly by its economical status: whether he act as a power in the society game, he is average, or does he need help from others to grow. Thus, the borders often play the role of guarding the territories, keeping in what is valuable to the country. Money makes land worth protecting, and when the particular territory has no wealth to offer, it become a surface of strategy, this stratagem creates a value (money) to this infertile soil. The border between Russia and the United States of America was drawn at its most northern point because of the localization of the two islands of Diomede. The western one, called Big Diomede is sovereigned by Russia, whereas the eastern Little Diomede is overseen by the United State of America through Alaska (since 1867). The two islands have no resources in their ground, which is composed mainly of permafrost. They have no important economic asset. Why then do both countries are keen on keeping these remote islands. The living conditions are difficult due to the weather condition, the remote location, the difficulty to find a suitable space to settle, the lack of economic activities. Big Diomede is inhabited only by the occasional military troops and Little Diomede is home to a tiny village of 115 Inuit. Why with all those characteristics reunited does the two countries still maintain their sovereignty over those two rocks, lost in the middle of the Bering Strait? Strategic Territory. Moreover the Native Americans living on little Diomede have a very small interest in developing wealthy businesses. The lifestyle on the island is that of subsistence. Natives have the right to fish for their own consummation without a permit. They earn money to pay for the necessities that came with mainland society: rent, water, electricity, air and barge transportation, imported goods, health … In other terms money is not the main currency on this territory. Almost all inhabitants are relatives to the 3d degree, and a real strong community sense is what keeps them altogether. Helping, supporting and exchange of benefits are how the village keeps going. But the tribe has been torn apart many times, first when Russia sold the smallest island where lies the village to Alaska. The biggest break occurred with the Cold War, when Russia sent to the Mainland, the population of Big Diomede and forbade to those of Little Diomede to reach over the water to the land opposite them. Since then, the elders and every person keen to keep track of their heritage enunciated the wish to reclaim in a certain way the Big Diomede Island, to reunite both islands as one cultural archipelago. It is important to state that the inhabitants are well aware of the tension between the countries and make sure to avoid all incidents without the neighboring countries that could led to international diplomatic incidents and difficulties. The claim of the territory is purely geographic and cultural, as it is admitted those islands of rock have no resources or economic value besides the border they created. In the 21st century geopolitical climate, keeping two rocks so close in geography, so far in time apart is unconceivable, even more so when it is done to the expense of a small community. The Cold War is over, Russia and the United States of America are not ignoring each other any longer, and a certain dialog is in place, what could be done to reach a mutual agreement on those territories? To sew the culture back like the inhabitants who skin sew, to make the most of the unique and magnificent location, right at the foot of the artic circle, and set an example of mutual understanding and benefits. As the inhabitants show it all year round, living with what is growing on their permafrost soil, how they can manage with Internet and very little physical mail, only pedestrian transportation, no cars, without the need of at least a dollar to survive the next 30 minutes … Lets make a pit stop in the middle of the Bering Strait, offer a location to just pause a few hours, look around, forget about time (just cross the International Date Line in the way you need), and follow the guide to bring a fish home while leaving your cash in your wallet.
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