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Mapping Resilience on the Silk Road

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Tblisi, Georgia > Ishinimaki, Japan

Project co-lead

Co-design workshops

Exhibition

06.2015 - 12.2015

To explore the notion of ‘resilience’, in 2015 architect Katharina Manecke and I formed a nomadic studio and set off to travel the Silk Road over land from Georgia to Japan. To design for resilience is to confront some of the most imperative challenges of the twenty-first century: to embrace vulnerability—whether in the form of an epidemic, a financial crash or the impacts of a warming climate—through an ability to adapt to dynamic and rapidly shifting conditions. At key milestones, defined by moments where we understood resilience to be most at stake, we established and coordinated workshops to reflect on the role of the built environment in how communities can withstand, and adjust to, novel conditions.

 

The idea for the Silk Road project evolved out of an interdisciplinary discussion forum we initiated in 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which provided a platform for local voices to debate how the city was rapidly changing. This project similarly aimed to connect with people living in some of the world’s fastest growing regions, but remain critically underrepresented in mainstream architectural discourse. This ambition took us to fast-growing megacities, across deserts and steppes and to some of the world's most politically isolated regions. 

Each of the workshops applied representation techniques inspired by the local surroundings, including collage-making in Tbilisi (Georgia); mapping mataskya in Almaty (Kazakhstan); exploring architectural memory at an academic forum in Chungju (South Korea); and a form-building workshop in Ishinomaki with elderly residents (Japan). All workshops addressed both local and global conditions and provided a forum for discussion and debate. Insights from the ‘Mapping Resilience on the Silk Road’ were presented in an exhibition in Copenhagen in December 2015.

"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."

Luis Montreal

RESILIENCE + COLLAGE

Tbilisi, Georgia

01

RESILIENCE + BOARDERS

Stepantsminda, Georgia

02

RESILIENCE + EMPIRE

Volgograd, Russia

03

RESILIENCE + OIL

Baku, Azerbaijan

04

RESILIENCE + DESERT

Aralsk, Kazakhstan

05

RESILIENCE + MATASKYA

Almaty, Kazakhstan

06

RESILIENCE AT THE EDGE

Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan

07

RESILIENCE + CONFINEMENT

Dunhuang, China

08

RESILIENCE + REBIRTH

Tianshui, China

09

10 RESILIENCE + DISCOVERY

Xi'An, China

10

RESILIENCE + MEMORY

Chungju, South Korea

11

RESILIENCE POST CRISIS

Ishinomaki, Japan

12

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