Design for Legacy at the 2017 Future Force Conference

FAST was invited to develop and produce a breakout session for the 2017 Future Force Conference in The Hague.

The breakout session is part of our long term research, advocacy and design project ‘Design for Legacy.’ It aims at introducing architecture and urban design thinking into the planning processes of UN Peace Operations.

To read more

Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World

Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World is a long-term multidisciplinary effort to investigate opportunities for sustaining peace in urban environments that are outside the traditional toolbox of peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building .

Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World is a collaborative project between FAST, Terreform, the NYU Center for International Cooperation (CIC) and with the support of UN agencies.

Footprint #19 SPACES OF CONFLICT is now available online

Footprint 19 focuses on the more recent roles of architecture in the contemporary spaces of conflict. Departing from a spatial understanding of geopolitical, climatological and economical conflicts, the various contributions highlight the large scale and phenomenal transitions in the physical world and in society by extrapolating, through examples, the abundance of relations that can be traced between conflict, territory and architecture. Conflict areas often prove to be fertile grounds for innovation and for the emergence of new spatial forms. The issue reports on the state of perpetual global unrest in architecture through a series of articles and case studies that highlight the consequences of conflicts in the places and spaces that we inhabit. In the introduction, these are discussed as an interlinked global reality rather than as isolated incidents. In doing so, the contemporary spaces of conflict are positioned in the context of emerging global trends, conditions, and discourses in the attempt to address their indicative symptoms while reflecting on their underlying causes.”

“Peacekeeping Missions in Cities” and “Design for Legacy” at the Future Force Conference

Our long term research and design project “Design for Legacy,” and the exhibition “BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions” at the Venice Architecture Biennale inspired a series of conversations and breakout sessions at the 2017 Future Force Conference.

Link to the Future Force Conference website

Link to the project

“Architecture of Peace” at Harvard GSD

We live in an increasingly unstable world, where internal conflicts have become increasingly internationalized, sectarian violence ravages cities and communities, and terrorist threats impact daily routines. This has lead to millions of destroyed homes, conditions of rampant distrust and fear, an unprecedented number of refugees, and the expansion of missions and initiatives for peace. Propelled by this context to critical engagement, this course aims to identify opportunities and challenges to design for peace.

“Architecture of Peace” at Harvard GSD ends with a passionate and substantial discussion on some of the most pertinent challenges of our time with Diane Davis, Sandi Hilal, Rosseta Elkin, Pham Phuong, Deen Sharp, Malkit Shoshan, Gizem Sucuoglu, Delia Wendel and a wonderful group of students.

Link to the course page


The growing pace of urbanization in conflict-affected countries, the notable increase in the displacement of people to urban areas, coupled with increasing inequality and insecurity within cities creates new challenges for humanitarian action, development, peacebuilding and peacekeeping. These trends require the United Nations, national governments, and the international system to integrate urban perspectives in their work, to devise appropriate and durable responses to multi-layered violence, conflict, and displacement, and to “leave no one behind”.

Sustaining Peace in an Urban World seeks to link The New Urban Agenda, with the outcomes of the recent reviews and processes, most notably on sustaining peace, peace operations, and sustainable development. The core objective is to uncover how urban perspectives can facilitate efforts to sustain peace, tapping into the constructive potential of cities to overcome current global challenges.

“LAND: A Declaration” [embedded tweet, support, and response]

“One might want to propose to burn down the Empire as an act of resistance and dissident, which most likely I’d support.

Burning something down, however, feels not right at this time, if for entirely personal reasons. My parents live in Haifa (Israel). Their house was caught in the line of the fire and burned a few days ago. 

Even though it is entirely possible to polemicize on the relationship between the extraction of fossil fuels and the fires in Haifa, Bruno Latour is probably right to say that the Anthropocene requires action, not hope.

I like to think that between the polemics and Aravena’s male suck-up to existing power the paternalistic posture of the Curator of the Biennale towards existing power structures, there is a more feminine, and maybe even oriental, approach to action that escapes the trap of smallness (and decay).

It is the loving nudging of existing power structures and systems to change, berating their crimes while nurturing the latent potentials and ideals embedded on a human level in these structures and systems.

Design is not only a great communication tool but also an integrator.

It might be that I am wrong in thinking such an approach will bring the drastic change this earth needs; in BLUE we see that it is easier to change the military’s rhetoric than its methods. These days, however, I am not yet ready for a good burn.”

Malkit Shoshan


“D Is for Design: ‘Blue: Architecture of Peacekeeping Missions’, The Dutch Pavilion at The 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice.’ A review by Anna Battista

In a previous post last year we mentioned the main theme for the Dutch Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (until 27th November 2016), but we haven’t reviewed this space yet. Since the architecture Biennale closes this week, let’s have a look at it today.

Ghost Town

Ghost Town is a contribution to  Le Journal des Laboratoires 2015 2016 and to the artist Yael Davids’s project ‘Objects in Diaspora’ on the distancing of geography and identity.

The text ‘Ghost Town’ is based on a transcript of a presentation.

In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day

«In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day» presents the most exciting and critical design projects of 2016 in a daylong event organized and hosted by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Architects, curators, theorists, photographers, and filmmakers construct a global view of contemporary architectural practice.

Participants include:

Wolfgang Tillmans, Yves Behar, Malkit Shoshan, Ensamble Studio, Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, Ou Ning, OMA, Donovan Wylie, West 8, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Jill Magid, Smiljan Radić, Stefan Sagmeister, nArchitects, The Lowline Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Bas Princen, Bêka & Lemoine, Space Caviar, Nora Akawi, Miranda July, REX, Amanda Williams, Liam Young, Lacaton et Vassal, Deborah Berke Partners, Christ & Gantenbein

“Architecture of Peace” at Harvard GSD

The new course “Architecture of Peace” explores challenges and opportunities to materialize peace. It examines spaces of conflict and initiative of peace.

Lecture: Design as Activism. Contested territories and spaces of interventions. at Parsons

The lecture is part of “Territories of Urban Practice” program by Evren Uzer at Parsons

Fd: Goed ontwerp by Farid Tabarki

Het geloof in de maakbaarheid van de samenleving was groot toen Mao Zedong deze maand precies vijftig jaar geleden de Culturele Revolutie startte, een poging om burgerlijke en kapitalistische elementen uit China te bannen. Artsen en ambtenaren werden naar het platteland gestuurd om te leren leven als een boer of arbeider en iedereen die zelfstandig durfde na te denken, werd vervolgd. De revolutie joeg miljoenen de dood in. Inmiddels heeft de Chinese communistische partij het officieel een ‘vergissing’ genoemd, maar hanteert deels nog dezelfde technieken.

Gili Merin interviews Malkit Shoshan for Mark Magazine: “For Centuries, maps have been used as tools of control”

A conversation between Gili Merin and Malkit Shoshan about cartography, territorial violence, atlases and books.

“Malkit Shoshan on the architecture of diplomacy” by Rocky Casale for Surface Magazine

The Israeli-born Brooklynite designed the Dutch Pavilion as a means towards resolution in places where conflict is rampant.

Link to the article

A “total-blue” pavilion welcomes visitors of the Dutch exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. By Riccardo Bianchini

Blue is everywhere here, from the net fabric wrapping the pavilion itself, to walls and furniture, up to the title of the exhibition, curated by Malkit Shoshan, a research fellow at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. But why?

The answer is simple and articulated at the same time: a specific type of blue (35.7% red, 57.3% green and 89.8% blue) is the flag-color of the United Nations as well as the their peacekeeping mission carried out across the world by the so-called “Blue Helmets”.

But “the Blue people” (for their indigo clothes) is also a name which usually identifies the Tuareg nomadic populations living in the North-eastern part of Africa, including Mali, where a UN compound has been built and is managed by the Netherlands.

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