In October 2012 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union starting a range of controversies. The interconnection of industrial structures, supply chains, markets, financial circuits, policies, strategies and protocols of the European project is a complex set of transformations that generate a series of oscillations and instabilities across the entire range of life in Europe and well beyond. The architecture of the European project, with its entangled connections between changing polities and material spaces, is at the centre of Diploma 4 investigations.
We think of this as a complex system of construction of inhabited space over time. The reorganisation of the protocols and procedures of the European project is investigated as a torque force – a spin that gathers multiple currents to reshape and rearrange the material spaces of the European peninsula. What emerges is an image of a space in complex transformation, a series of ambivalent territories and multiple populations and agents operating over wide sets of relationships, both above and beneath the state.
A focus on the coast of Europe enables us to intercept of these transformations where they become more intense and visible. The shifting polities of the European project are reorganised, funnelled and accelerated by the many circulations that characterise the seas and shores of the peninsula. Non-spaced transformations set the tone for the projects of Diploma 4: extensions of global supply chain routes; infrastructural connections; rapid urbanisation processes; new erosion patterns and rearrangement of sedimentation processes; technology transfer hubs and secluded research and development sites; migratory shipping lines and detention centres; and rearrangement of surveillance and measurement.The projects present a range of diverging transformations and multi-directed thrusts. Using architecture as both the object and method of investigation reveals a kaleidoscope of divergent ways for changing the European project through its many contradictions, abrupt stops, rapid accelerations or the concomitant stagnation and consolidation of patterns of inhabitation. How can architecture enter radical negotiations to rethink a project for the remodernisation of the coast of Europe?
Special thanks to
Carlos Villanueva Brandt
Architecture of Siege: The English Channel
The project is an exploration of the territorial transformation of trans-border region, the English Channel. It is a region known as a solid metropolitan triangle of London-Paris-Brussels, but the Channel itself does usually not feature in this description. The project conceives of the English Channel as a complex architecture thought as a series of territorial investigation with the contemporary notions of security, industry, knowledge production and maritime connections. Meanwhile, the project rethinks the role of architecture schools in a complex spatial operation, to explore the possibility that architecture schools to reorganise the military systems and civilian structure in English Channel.