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 and director of the architectural think tank FAST: Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. FAST uses research, advocacy, and design to investigate the relationship between architecture, urban planning, and human rights in conflict and post-conflict areas. Its cross-disciplinary and multi-scalar work explores the mechanisms behind, and the impact of, displacement, spatial violence, and systemic segregation on people’s living environments. FASTs projects promote spatial justice, equality and solidarity.
Shoshan is the author and the map maker of the award-winning book Atlas of Conflict: Israel-Palestine (Uitgeverij 010, 2010). The book details the emergence of Israel and disappearance of Palestine over the past century. It visualizes issues of settlement distribution and typology, land ownership, landscaping, water and access to resources in a state of conflict. Shoshan is also the co-author of the book Village: One Land Two Systems and Platform Paradise (Damiani Editore, 2014). Village consists of multiple narratives that recount the story of an internally displaced community in Israel and shows how Shoshan designed a collaborative engagement process to produce an alternative masterplan for the village. This masterplan served as a tool to negotiate the community’s right to spatial equality and state services with the local authorities. Additional publications include Zoo, or the letter Z, just after zionism (NAiM, 2012), the UNMANNED: Architecture and Security Series(DPR-Barcelona, 2016) and the issue Spaces of Conflict for Footprint, TU Delft Architecture Theory Journal (JAP SAM Books, 2017).
In 2016, Shoshan was the curator of the Dutch Pavilion for The Venice Architecture Biennale with the exhibition BLUE: Architecture of UN peacekeeping missions., which examines the spatiality and legacy of UN Peace Operations in conflict-affected urban environments. The exhibition is now part of the National Architecture Collection of The Netherlands and will be the subject of her forthcoming book BLUE: Peacekeeping Architecture (Actar, 2018).
Shoshan studied architecture at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and the IUAV – the University of Venice. She is currently an international scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU and a Ph.D. fellow at the Delft University of Technology. She is on the editorial board of Footprint, the TU Delft Architecture Theory Journal. In 2014, as a research fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Shoshan developed the project Drones and Honeycombs on global processes of militarization of the civic space. The fellowship included the exhibition 2014-1914 The View From Aboveand a series of seminars and workshops with multiple experts, stakeholders, governmental agencies and NGOs. In 2015, she was a visiting critic at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture and in 2016, she taught a course Architecture of Peace at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Shoshan was a finalist for the Harvard GSD’s Wheelwright Prize in 2014.
Her research and design work has been published in newspapers and journals including the New York Times, The Guardian, NRC, Haaretz, Volume, Surface, Frame, Metropolis, and exhibited in venues including the UN Headquarters in NYC (2016), Venice Architecture Biennale (2002, 2008, 2016), Experimenta (2011), Het Nieuwe Instituut (2014), The Istanbul Design Biennale (2014), The Israel Digital Art Center (2012), and The Netherlands Architecture Institute (2007).
Growing up in Ecuador inspired Maria Isabel Carrasco to work towards the development of sustainable cities, now challenged and threatened by the rapid urban expansion and climate change, while advocating for social equity and integration. It is Isabel’s believe that the Architect and Urban Designer should go beyond the boundaries of her profession, using design as the tool to engage and empower communities.
Isabel’s work experience comes from her contribution in a wide range of architectural and urban projects where her design process was always developed within an interdisciplinary team and together with the final users. Isabel also collaborated in research projects for the Sustainable Cities and the Compact and Sustainable Neighborhoods of the University of Cuenca, Ecuador. Isabel’s awards comprehend the first prize in the competition Dencity 2017 hosted by Shelter Global, a national prize in 2016 and an honorable mention in 2012 during the Quito’s Panamerican Biennial of Architecture, as well as two honorable mentions in a public contest for social housing projects for Quito in 2010.
Isabel holds a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University GSAPP and a Bachelor in Architecture from the Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador. She contributed as a Research Assistant at Columbia University and currently she works as a Researcher and Urban Designer at FAST (Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory) in the city of New York.
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.