ARCHIPELAGO - ARCHITECTURES FOR THE MULTIVERSE
The Archipelago: Architectures for the Multiverse broadcast concluded on May, 8th, 2021, after three days of conversation centred on pressing disciplinary issues within the practice of architecture, landscape, and interior architecture. The event was staged in Le Cube, a building on HEAD’s campus in Geneva and was framed by custom-built scenography designed and created by faculty staff and students from HEPIA and HEAD. The conversations were moderated by Vera Sacchetti, Archipelago’s curator and general coordinator, and by Ala Tannir, Elise Misao Hunchuck and Meriem Chabani.
Details on the full team and the programme can be found at: www.archipelago-architectures.ch
The Archipelago broadcast began on the first day by challenging the assumption that disciplinary concerns within interior design, architecture and landscape always need material intervention, which brought forward the question Do We Need to Build? In a roundtable discussion with members of the Archipelago advisory board, the first conversation set the tone for the days to come by touching upon the processes of institution building and public engagement, as well as shifting modes of pedagogy. This was followed by a tour of the scenography with members of the design team which illuminated the intentions behind its many locally sourced, reusable parts.
On the second day – entitled Understories – What Remains Hidden in Plain View? – the broadcast turned to under-represented knowledge, systems and stories that have been canonically excluded. The day’s programme began with Territories of Intervention, a discussion of the local urban context of Geneva that looked outwards to the rest of Switzerland, its borders and beyond to discover how the city is entangled in larger myths of nationality and place. It continued with Extractive Systems, which sought to unearth systems and traces of capitalism, imperialism and extractivism by exposing and challenging forms of embedded exploitation. Panellists contended with extraction and its spectrum of interpretation, as well as the need to deconstruct the “architectural saviour complex”. From there, the broadcast moved on to Other Stories – narratives within architecture, landscape and interior design that are traditionally positioned at the margin, narratives which have either become visible only recently or which have been present from the very beginning. The conversation ended with a resolution to reimagine hegemonic narratives as the “other” and by doing so to find new disciplinary centre points. The final conversation of Day Two zoomed out and considered stories that play out on a global scale, stories which involve multiple material flows across time and space.
The third day of the Archipelago broadcast (Interdependency – New Disciplinary Narratives) focused on new methods and models which can be used to develop practice. Kinship and Advocacy opened this topic by unpacking the way in which disciplinary boundaries and expectations change when kinship, collaboration and mutual care are centred. Panellists related their personal experiences to their work and discussed the role that shared ritual plays in fostering kinship. Working With then continued this conversation by exploring how practitioners are changing the ways in which they work with one another within the complex present, allowing for experimental collective configurations that offer new possibilities for interdisciplinary exchange. Archipelago’s conversations ended with New Roles, New Practices, which sought to build upon the previous three days of insights by imagining new paths for architects, landscape architects and interior designers. The event concluded with a roundtable discussion in which students from HEAD and HEPIA came together with the Archipelago moderators to reflect on how these new disciplinary paths might be carved within the educational institution, leading to future generations of practitioners attuned to the complex contemporary issues we are facing.
Archipelago, May 6–8, 2021
Broadcast live from the Cube, HEAD – Geneva
Featuring conversations with: Pooja Agrawal, Céline Baumann, Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine, Sofia Pia Belenky, Luca Cei, Esther Choi, Collectif Galta, Trojans Collective, Cynthia Deng, Cindy Duan, Matias Echanove, Elif Erez, Javier F. Contreras, Marco Ferrari, Silvia Franceschini, Nathalie Frankowski, Emma-Julia Fuller, Cruz Garcia, Rania Ghosn, Natacha Guillaumont, Jane Mah Hutton, Emma Kaufmann-LaDuc, Youri Kravtchenko, Adrian Lahoud, Léopold Lambert, Romain Legros, Ann Lui, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Oreste Montinaro, Lauro Nächt, Joar Nango, Marina Otero, Mariana Pestana, Nicolas Pham, Lucia Pietroiusti, Marie-Louise Richards, Francesco Sebregondi, Riccardo Simioni, Serina Tarkhanian, Justinien Tribillon, Charlotte Truwant, Manijeh Verghese, Daniel Zamarbide, and others.