Design for Legacy

Blue models: Four steps for sharing space and Design for Legacy. Photo: Iwan Baan. Venice, 2016

The Design for Legacy project aims to introduce architecture and design thinking to the planning process of UN peacekeeping bases. The goal is to leave behind a stronger city with infrastructure, resources and knowledge that will stay with the local populations after the mission has gone.

UN bases are rapidly designed and built by military engineers. Although they are located in cities, they operate as islands, enclosed behind barbed wire and trenches. Inside the bases, there are wells, power plants, waste treatment plants and hospitals. Outside are cities that struggle to provide residents with access to basic human needs.

Over the past decade, a new approach has been introduced to the field of peacekeeping. Under a policy called “The 3D Comprehensive Approach”, the international community strives to integrate diplomacy, defense and development. However, the spaces produced by the UN only pay tribute to one element: defense. Design can be used to mitigate between the 3Ds, integrating development and diplomacy too. For instance, if a UN hospital is located at the edge of a base rather than in the centre, its staff can offer medical treatment to locals.

Design for Legacy proposes that parts of UN bases should be designed to bring together local people and the UN – so the global presence and the locals can exchange knowledge and resources.

The UN base should become a catalyst for local development and empower the local community to reconstruct their environments themselves.

The project was initiated and is led by Malkit Shoshan.

Contributors to the research

Debra Solomon/URBANIAHOEVE, Erella Grassiani/University of Amsterdam, Henk Ovink, Joel van der Beek/Econovision and Economists for Peace and Security, Malkit Shoshan/FAST, Robert Kluijver, Samir Bantal

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Charlotte van Baak, Eran Nagan, Marleen Monster, Renilde Steeghs

Dutch Ministry of Defence: Lt. Col. Alex Jansen, Maj. Erwin Marx, Col. Kees Matthijssen, Col. Norbert Moerkens, Maj. Marcel Rot, Cpt. Thomas Boonen, Cpt. Wouter Eidhof

Series of illustrations of imaginary spaces between the camp and the city: Laura van Santen/FAST

Production exhibition models: Design: Malkit Shoshan. Production: Studio Roel Huisman

The research was made possible thanks to the generous support of The Creative Industries Fund and by The New Institute.