Category: Events Page 1 of 5

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.

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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


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.

designboom: “dutch pavilion at venice biennale focuses on the architecture of UN peacekeeping missions.”

‘reporting from the front’ is the theme of the 2016 venice architecture biennale, under which alejandro aravena has curated projects from around the globe that focus on the need to provide growing numbers of people with accommodation and basic living conditions, under increasingly difficult circumstances. as the director of the 15th international architecture exhibition, aravena has identified front lines around the world where creative architects can bring about a breakthrough in extremely complex urban issues, not least of all in places of military conflict. it is this particular topic that is the focus of malkit shoshan’s ongoing research into the architecture of the united nation’s (UN) peacekeeping missions.

Debate: ‘Reflecting on Venice: Design Positions at the Front.’ July 7, 2016

Can (or should) a designer engage with complex social and political issues? What stance can architects take within this field? Are they really given room to bring about improvements or is it simply a matter of good intentions? These and other questions will be discussed in relation to several exhibitions currently on view at the Venice Architecture Biennale under the banner ‘Reporting from the Front’. With contributions from curators Sabine Dreher (Austrian pavilion, Places for People), Oliver Elser (German pavilion, Making Heimat), Malkit Shoshan (Dutch pavilion, BLUE. Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions) and Luke Korlaar (UNHCR). The discussion will be led by Lilet Breddels, director of Volume.

Metropolis: Timely, Urban, and Contextual: The Venice Architecture Biennale’s Most Thought-Provoking Pavilions

“Dutch Pavilion
BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions

Malkit Shoshan, founder of the architecture think tank FAST and curator of the Dutch pavilion, has spent the past decade researching the intersections between architecture, politics, and human rights, particularly in conflict zones. For this year’s biennale, Shoshan examined the UN’s bases around the world, which have historically taken the form of enormous, militarized compounds inside and around cities (170 to be precise), and explore how these compounds could better achieve their peace-keeping missions. After all, as Shoshan explains, every UN base should represent diplomacy, defense, and development; existing complexes give tribute to defense only.

The New York Times: Six Not-to-Miss Shows at the Venice Architecture Biennale

“The Netherlands

The curator Malkit Shoshan specializes in the architecture of conflict, and for “Blue,” she focuses on the structures created by the United Nations at Camp Castor in Gao, Mali. “Blue” indicates, on the one hand, the blue helmets of the peacekeeping mission, and on the other, the “blue men” of the Tuareg, in whose region the mission is situated. Shoshan suggests the military camp itself as a permeable cultural location rather than a fortress, and one that brings with it the possibility of positive change.”

By Hettie Judah

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Haaretz: “איך האו”ם יכול באמת לעזור לתושבי אפריקה” (Hebrew)

האדריכלית מלכית שושן אצרה את הביתן ההולנדי עטור השבחים בביאנלה בוונציה. היא מציעה בו דרכים שבאמצעותן יוכלו גם תושבים באפריקה ליהנות מהתשתיות של בסיסי האו”ם

By Naama Riba

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