In 2005 Malkit Shoshan initiated FAST with Michiel Schwarz, Willem Velthoven and Alwine van Heemstra. The urgency to create FAST began with a question posed to us by a Palestinian community of Internally Displaced Persons, Ein Hawd. The community needed a planning alternative to the one imposed by the Israeli government. They wished to have a masterplan, with which they could negotiation and claim their basic civic rights from governmental bodies.
At the start of the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory, the founders decided to address the role of architecture in times of conflict. The first project, called One Land Two Systems, focused on Ein Hawd. After One land Two Systems founder and director Malkit Shoshan continued the research and many projects, publications and exhibitions have followed.
Presently, FAST works in collaboration with various experts in the field of anthropology, economy, international law, landscape, architecture and urban design, as well as UN agencies, NGOs, the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense. Current projects include Design for Legacy, BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions and Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World.
Malkit Shoshan is the founder of the Amsterdam-based architectural think tank FAST: Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. On the intersection between research, advocacy, and design, her work explores the relationships between architecture, planning, and human rights. She is the author of the award-winning book Atlas of Conflict: Israel-Palestine (Uitgeverij 010, 2010), the co-author of the book Village: One Land Two Systems and Platform Paradise (Damiani Editore, 2014), and co-editor of Footprint number 19: Spaces of Conflict, Delft Architecture Theory Journal (Fall, 2017).
Shoshan studied architecture at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and the IUAV – The University of Venice. She is a Ph.D. fellow at the Delft University of Technology, and is part of the editorial board of Footprint, Delft Architecture Theory Journal.
She was the curator of the Dutch pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, titled BLUE: Architecture of UN peacekeeping missions. Currently, she is a lecturer at Harvard GSD and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge (NYU).
In 2015, she was a finalist for the Harvard GSD’s Wheelwright Prize and a Visiting Critic at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. In 2014, as a research fellow at The New Institute, she developed the project Drones and Honeycombs, as a continuation of her research on architecture and conflict, focusing on the militarization of the civic space.
Her past projects include One Land Two Systems that aimed at making visible the reality of the unrecognized Palestinian villages in Israel, while using design and architecture instruments to improve the livelihood of the community of Ein Hawd, and ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism that looked into the architecture of confinement and state formation, while examining the blockage of the Gaza Strip.
Presently, her projects include Design for Legacy and Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World. These projects examine the impact of UN peace operations and displacement on cities-conflict affected cities. They aim at contributing to building urban resilience and improving livelihood through collaborative research and design processes with experts in the fields of design, anthropology, international law, economy, landscape, architecture and policy making. In the past years, Shoshan collaborated with the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, various NGO’s, UN agencies, cultural institutions and research institutes.
Shoshan work has been published in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, NRC, Haaretz, Volkskrant, Vrij Nederland, ATTN, Het Parool, Volume, Surface, Frame, Metropolis, Mark and exhibited at venues such as the UN Headquarters in NYC (2016), Venice Architecture Biennale (2002, 2008, 2016), Lisbon Triennial, Experimenta (2011), The New Institute (2014), The Istanbul Design Biennale (2014). The Israel Digital Art Center in Hulon (2012), and The Netherlands Architecture Institute (2007).
Alwine van Heemstra is a media producer. She is the owner of WinWin Stories. “It is my mission as a media producer to capture great stories and bring these to the right audience. I love ‘selling’ true stories that move and motivate people. I am a connector and a messenger. I have an urge to help people share their ideas and adventures with others. When I discovered media as a tool fifteen years ago, I decided to make it my profession.” She is on the board of FAST since 2005.
Floor van Spaendonck is general director of Cinekid. The festival for Film, Television and new media for children. The international festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in October 2016. The ten days’ event in Amsterdam and throughout the country (35 cities in the Netherlands) covers all aspects of the media industry for young audiences and offers workshops and masterclasses as well as high-quality media. Every year more than 50.000 children are given the opportunity to visit over 500 media productions selected by the festival: feature films, children’s documentaries, short films, animation, television series and single productions, cross media productions, interactive installations and set-ups as well as workshops.
Previously Floor van Spaendonck was involved at Het Nieuwe Instituut – the Dutch institute for creative industries- as head policy and international affairs for digital culture, design and architecture. Until 2012 van Spaendonck was general director of Virtueel Platform, the Dutch Expertise Centre for Media Arts and Digital Culture , she was engaged as member of staff at the Amsterdam Arts Foundation and Head of the program of medialab Waag Society. Her professional expertise lies in the field of innovation, media-arts and crossovers. Floor van Spaendonck is advisor for the Dutch creative residences (DCR), the Twente Makersfestival, the Dutch fund for literature and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and boardmember at DEN ( digital heritage Netherlands), FAST and De Verdieping.
Floor van Spaendonck graduated from Modern history, Museology and Pedagogy at the University of Amsterdam and the Reinwardt academy. Van Spaendonck completed her European Diploma for arts management in 2006.
Willem Velthoven, trained in visual communications and art history, founded and developed Mediamatic as a cultural institution but also as a new media agency and technology developer. In the meantime, it has also been a publisher, a restaurant, an Arabic department store and a dating agency. Mediamatic is looking into the possibility of becoming a travel service. He is fascinated by the development of media culture and social software. Currently, he is most interested in developing open social networks as part of public institutions and infrastructure. The developments in this field yield enormous potential for the public sector. He is in the board of FAST since 2005.