mapping architectural resilience on the silk road (ge > jp)
freiraum kollektive 06.2015 - 12.2016
To investigate what it means to be resilient, in 2015 Freiraum Kollektive took to the Silk Road. For five months we followed the tracks of the caravanserais over land from Georgia to Japan. We navigated some of the world’s most remote regions and fastest developing megacities, traversed deserts, steppes and mountain passes. Our journey was marked by a series of twelve milestones in which we recorded, mapped, reflected and initiated events on location.
As a nomadic studio, Freiraum Kollektive aims to operate at the boundaries of architectural theory while remaining engaged with diverse and marginalised communities. The notion of ‘resilience’ was deemed critically relevant for exploration as it captures an ability to adapt to dynamic and rapidly changing conditions with a longer-term perspective. We explored this concept in the context of urban development with those we met on the road via our series of workshops and events.
Resilience is the capacity to maintain or regain vitality in the face of disruption, whether immediate and temporary or ongoing and severe. It is a concept which operates across scales, linking the local, communal and the global. To design for resilience is therefore to confront the critical challenges of the twenty-first century: to embrace the vulnerable, whether in the form of an immediate loss of electricity, a natural disaster, market boom and bust cycles or the impacts of a warming climate.
A further aim of the project was to reach out to and maintain a pan-Asian network of collaborators to encourage agency in urban decision-making. The passage from West to East allowed us to connect with with some of the world’s fastest developing regions and communities which are undergoing an unrivalled construction boom but remain critically underrepresented in architectural discourse. We are currently maintaining this network through our digital platform and expanding it though our Silk Road exhibition in Copenhagen during December 2015 andupcoming publication.
Read more on the Freiraum Kollektive website >
"we may find our identities in our own cultures, but we gain nothing from exclusion. let us be moved by others’ music, by their art, by the vast and myriad possibilities in the cross-fertilisation of cultures which make up the world today"
02_RESILIENCE + BOARDERS
03_RESILIENCE + EMPIRE
04_RESILIENCE + OIL
05_RESILIENCE + DESERT
06_RESILIENCE + MATASKYA
07_RESILIENCE AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan
08_RESILIENCE + IMPRISONMENT
09_RESILIENCE + REBIRTH
10_RESILIENCE + DISCOVERY