This Wednesday 26 Oct
by The ScanlDesign Foundation of Inger and Jens Bruun, UW Green Futures Lab, UW Department of Landscape Architecture
6 – 7:00pm
Lecture by Copenhagen-based studio of architects and landscape architects on their approach, method and select projects
Friday 28 Oct
Doors at 6:30pm, Lecture at 7pm
Lecture by Japanese designer, curator, author, educator and renowned design thinker
Wednesday 2 Nov
by UW Department of Architecture
6 – 8:30pm
Quarterly lecture series with John Ochsendorf, Professor of Architecture and Engineering, MIT
Thursday 3 Nov
by Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (WASLA)
6:30 – 10:30pm
Awards ceremony to recognize outstanding achievements by landscape architects in Washington state
Thursday 3 Nov
by Space City Seattle
Lecture by architect and 2016 AIA Honor Awards jury member
Sunday 6 Nov
by Historic Seattle, Book Club of Washington, Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Seattle Public Library
2 – 4pm
Rare book dealer shares what books can tell us about the building trades, changing architecture, and interior design and decoration trends
Monday 7 Nov
by AIA Seattle
Lobby bars open at 5:30pm
Program begins at 7pm
Annual architecture award program that explores and honors projects designed by architects throughout the state of Washington
Thursday 10 Nov
by Town Hall Seattle
Behind-the-scenes tour and detail on upcoming renovation
Thursday 10 Nov
by Cr:t, AIASWW, UWT Urban Studies, Tacoma Housing Authority
6:30 – 8pm
10 slides x 10 minutes with speakers who create Tacoma as their own
Friday 11 Nov –
Saturday 12 Nov
by Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
8am – 5pm both days
Industrial design conference will provide insights into delivering improved healthcare value
Wednesday 16 Nov
by UW Department of Architecture
6 – 8:30pm
Quarterly lecture series with Christina and Rob Wallace of Presidio Trust
Wednesday 16 Nov
by Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)
6:30 – 7:30pm
Conversation explores over 100 years of aerial photography of Seattle’s changing landscape
Thursday 17 Nov
by Town Hall Seattle, The Elliott Bay Book Company
Author talk on zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, a practical and cost-effective way to reduce our energy needs
Thursday 17 Nov
by UW Department of Landscape Architecture
6:30 – 8pm
Lecture depicts a range of participatory and science-based strategies through the lens of SCAPE’s practice
Through Tuesday 28 Feb
by Seattle Theatre Group
Grand Opening Party, 16th September, 7pm
Art exhibit aims to redefine historic cultural space in the form of an art gallery for local visual artists
Through Friday 16 Dec
by Suyama Space
Artist’s Reception: Friday, 23rd September, 5 – 7pm
Presentation: Saturday, 24th September, 12pm
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
at Suyama Space
Exhibit investigates the often invisible structures through which nature sculpts and regenerates itself
Through Monday 31 Oct
by Feet First
WALKTOBER: All month long
Art Interruptions: 1st October, 10am – 12pm
Month-long walking challenge plus art exhibit and group walk
Through Monday 31 Oct
by City of Tacoma - Arts Program
Various times and days
at Various locations around Tacoma, WA
15th annual event in Tacoma with hundreds of community-hosted arts and culture events, exhibits, and workshops
Through Saturday 17 Dec
by Design Museum Portland
Launch Party, 6th October, 5 – 8pm
Program explores the latest thinking in playground design while presenting how vital free play is to childhood development & thriving communities
Through Sunday 8 Jan
by Seattle Art Museum
Wednesday, 10am – 5pm
Thursday, 10am – 9pm
Friday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Exhibit of garments from iconic French fashion designer
Through Saturday 29 Oct
Times vary, see website for details
Installations, nightly performances, and other events will explore the intersection of art, science, and technology
As a result of the Syrian Civil War, Jordan currently hosts over 330,000 child refugees in camps and other communities. In 2014 and 2015, my cofacilitator Tasneem Toghoj and I provided media workshops for Syrian girls (ages 14–18) in Za’atari Refugee Camp and Irbid to help them gain artistic and technical photography and video skills. The girls set out to document their everyday lives—how it looks, feels, and sounds from the ground, at the heart of their world. By narrating their spaces through photography, film, and writing, participants transformed the foreign landscape into new terrain for exploration, self-discovery, and expression. With the girls from these workshops, I started Another Kind of Girl Collective, an organization that creates opportunities for teenage girls living in displaced communities to reflect on and express their stories in their own voices.
“Before I started filming, I didn’t really know the camp. I used to be shy, but when I started learning how to film, and also when I realized that the image of the camp is really distorted outside [of it], I knew that I needed to overcome this shyness, not only to speak with the society around me, but also to the people out in the world. I feel I want to show the world that [even though] we live in a refugee camp, and have different lives than others, we girls still have dreams and ambitions.” —Khaldiya
“I liked to take photographs in the market because I felt like I wanted to show how people are living in the camp. We get dressed up, we eat, we drink, and we use perfume, not as they might imagine. They think that we are living here like we were living in Syria: waiting for death. It’s true, when we first came it was really hard for us, and we were missing our country very much. But thankfully, just like we are remembering moments back in Syria right now, tomorrow when we go back to Syria, we will remember a lot of moments from here.” —Bayan
Find more photos, writings, and films from Another Kind of Girl Collective at www.anotherkindofgirl.com, which portions of this article are drawn from.
Northern France has been a hub of migration for more than two decades. This stretch of the continental coast is only 20 miles from the United Kingdom, the desired destination of many migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who wish to resettle there due to language familiarity, job prospects, and family ties. For those who have travelled to northern France from places like Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Syria, the UK seems just one step away. In fact, an ever-growing security apparatus makes the crossing challenging and dangerous, leaving an estimated 10,000 people waiting for their chance to continue moving.
Migrants have developed makeshift camps in the area, notably Calais’s “Jungle” and Dunkirk’s “La Linière.” These temporary stopovers have transformed into long-term, informal settlements, combinations of self-organized shelters and humanitarian interventions. They exemplify the squats found throughout migration routes.
MapFugees, a group of humanitarian mappers of which I’m a part, works in the Jungle and La Linière to visualize experiences along these routes and facilitates participatory mapping of the two camps. We help refugees present their spatial perspectives of continuously changing settings in order to improve wayfinding, services, and aid delivery.
STOPOVERS AND DEAD ENDS
Migrations, like those experienced by the inhabitants of the Jungle and La Linière, are involuntary and unforeseeable. Migrants are often uncertain where they will finally resettle, and each journey is marked by stops and makeshift dwellings as borders, war zones, authorities, exhaustion, and disease force travelers to take refuge. Short-term stopovers can turn into hopeless dead ends; those on the move may find themselves stuck in unknown and sometimes hostile environments they cannot relate to, incapable and unwilling to adjust to the living conditions. They feel robbed of the chance to reach their desired destinations, and in a confined refugee camp, this feeling becomes a grim reality. If detained, holding centers provide neither shelter nor protection—they are refugee prisons.
To help refugees process and share their experiences, MapFugees takes camp residents through story-mapping exercises. Through hand-drawing maps of their migrations, refugees describe their stories. The activity is an outlet through which they may express the drastic emotions and inextinguishable memories of the journey; it is a means to present their perspectives when others won’t listen. A Pakistani teenager’s route included a “very, very, very bad” eight months of jail in Turkey, as well as tough conditions in the Balkans. A Sudanese doctor explained his preference for traveling through Libya rather than Egypt—the second option requires GPS tools and 14 days on the Mediterranean—and attributed his safe journey to traffickers and a “brave heart.” A man from Afghanistan felt that there was humanity and freedom along the UNHCR safety corridor from Greece to Germany but that the Jungle is “dangerous.”
CAMP NAVIGATION AND FINDING DIRECTIONS
In addition to story mapping, MapFugees facilitates participatory mapping through which migrants in the Jungle and La Linière determine, define, and analyze their present surroundings. Mappers record their perspectives and observations, which do not necessarily align with those of humanitarian organizations and official authorities. As active residents of these camps, they create detailed maps of infrastructure, services, and public spaces; their multilingual cartographies enable more effective aid work and provide visual tools for new arrivals. Further, collaborating with the community, setting goals, determining deadlines, and seeing their products in use can help migrants reactivate unused skills and resources. In this way, participants may regain a sense of self-reliance and autonomy.
Their maps of the Jungle and La Linière are particularly revealing in regard to the camps’ architectures. Constructed settlements appear more stable, protected, and calculable, but they are limited in space and offer few opportunities for residents to engage. Makeshift camps organically develop according to residents’ needs; they involve self-realization and grassroots structures, but they lack security, stability, and access to services. Accordingly, we’ve observed that constructed settlements appeal to families, women, seniors, and those with health problems, while the makeshift camps appeal to young and middle-aged single men.
MapFugees will next explore places of resettlement in host countries. In many ways, leaving a camp after a prolonged residence is yet another displacement, and in new host countries, migrants find themselves in strange environments without any orientation, access to navigation tools, or social affiliation. Newcomers struggle to find directions to basic services like health facilities, legal advice centers, or communal spaces. In collaboration with settled and newly arrived refugees, we intend to put these places on the map, giving migrants the skills and tools to understand and navigate their new environments.
Thank you to Andrew Buchanan/Subtle Light Photography for co-sponsoring ARCADE's website and e-newsletter.
Great Man Theory: A Review of Pierluigi Serraino's "The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study"
The Creative Architect:
Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study
By Pierluigi Serraino
The Monacelli Press, 2016
Most persons live a sort of half-life, giving expression to only a very limited part of themselves and realizing only a few of their many potentialities.
Unlocking one’s creativity is a perennial quest. In his new book, the indefatigable Pierluigi Serraino has unearthed an epic attempt—a 1960 study of architects by Donald MacKinnon and his collaborators at Berkeley’s Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). By studying successful professionals, MacKinnon hoped to find ways to unlock people’s creative potential in a broader sense. Many large organizations today share that interest, and Serraino’s look at IPAR’s study is timely.
MacKinnon was to creativity as Kinsey was to sex. And like sex, creativity is a topic with inexact norms and a preoccupation with individual performance. The IPAR team wore suits, not lab coats, but this was serious business. Turning to the architecture field’s academics, editors, and writers, IPAR put together a long list of luminaries to consider. Of the top 10 architects IPAR identified in its final ranking, only Saarinen, Kahn, and Neutra are still in the pantheon.
Once chosen, the architects descended on Berkeley for three days of tests. Among other tasks, IPAR asked them to discuss abstract problems with their peers; undergo personality assessments; note what they saw as the attributes of creative architects; and make mosaics of colored blocks and small, captioned drawings in two grids of blank squares.
A POSTWAR VIEW
IPAR drew on Ernest Jones’s 1957 account of Freud’s nine characteristics of genius to develop its own view of the key attributes of the creative personality. While some of Jones’s nuances are preserved, phrases like “the subject’s life history as recorded in the Personal Data Bank” reflect an era captivated by the computer and, more broadly, interested in giving the social sciences the perceived rigor of the hard sciences.
In architecture, this was the heyday of design methods, an outgrowth of the application of mathematics-based systems thinking to manufacturing and logistics during World War II. The hope was to extend this approach to fields like architecture, with creativity figuring in the mix of performance outcomes. By the end of the 1960s, this unalloyed faith that the methods of science and engineering could be so applied was in question. Architecture—famously nonlinear and rife with politics and emotions—was ripe for apostasy.
MacKinnon faced skepticism even from his would-be subjects that his research qualified as science, but his focus was on first identifying the traits of highly creative people and then understanding what would or would not contribute to their creative potential. This is why the IPAR study’s conclusions are still relevant and worth understanding.
BACK TO THE GREAT MEN
IPAR noted that the greatest of their Great Men scored INFP on the Meyers-Briggs spectrum. (INFJ placed second.) An INFP profile suggests a greater tolerance for keeping one’s options open. The F in INFP is for “feeling,” but MacKinnon equated it with “feminine”—a trait he saw as an attribute of the creative personality. While few of the Great Men cited themselves as “feminine,” MacKinnon felt that most were. This and the study’s complete lack of women as creative architects place it in its era. Though IPAR was interested in femininity as a characteristic, the role and influence of women went unexplored, despite the involvement of women researchers at IPAR—and despite the fact that Kahn and Saarinen, for example, had strong, creative women as partners and collaborators.
ALONE WITH OTHERS
Another limitation of the IPAR study is its insistence that creativity is best done alone. “Because creativity is so intertwined with unconventional associative processes in the minds of individuals, it will come as no surprise that for the creative individual the gap between conformance to group behavior and compulsion for self-expression is wide,” Serraino writes. For good measure, he quotes MacKinnon: “One of the best methods for nurturing creativity is to de-emphasize group participation.”
Today, teams are the focus and creativity is mainly considered in the context of distributed teams that work across time and space. The individual creator still matters, of course, and much effort goes into supporting her. It’s really both/and, not either/or.
So a question that arises is how the attributes of individual creators apply to teams. Larry Leifer of Stanford’s d.school points to autonomous teams as the creative force behind neo-industrial ventures like Tesla Motors. That there are visionaries behind these teams doesn’t negate their importance. Half a century later, some new MacKinnon may have creative teams in her sights.
In 2007, the Lebanese Army demolished Nahr el Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, after an armed conflict with the Islamist fundamentalist group Fath al Islam. 30,000 refugees were displaced to the adjacent camp and cities.
The idea of reconstructing the destroyed camp held revolutionary potential—the possibility of empowering the refugees and rethinking both this camp and others like it. However, the Lebanese state and army gradually became involved in the process, imposing their vision of security through planning. For me, an architect working on the reconstruction, the question transformed from how to rebuild a camp into how to dwell, live, and even die in a state of suspension, in waiting.
Whether Palestinians have Jordanian passports, bringing an illusion of stability, live without rights as refugees in Lebanon, or are part of a diaspora of millions spanning generations, the persistence of their displacement and the Palestinian question remains attached to the right of return—to Palestine before the establishment of Israel in 1948. Until then, any form of dwelling is temporary.
My ongoing series of artworks How to Build Without a Land considers the relationship of construction and land to time—to temporariness that gradually transforms or deforms into durability. This project presents a spatial narrative of what it means to dwell in a time of increased deterritorialization and alienation or, more specifically, in the absence of the land of Palestine. How do we build temporariness when it is mutating constantly into a permanent state? How do we dwell and build without a land?
Every year, millions of people are displaced from their countries of origin due to wars, conflicts, persecution, and natural disasters. According to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), there are approximately 65.3 million people currently displaced worldwide, the highest number ever recorded and expected to grow. With this increase comes the emergence of “temporary” settlements to host the displaced. These settlements are neither the product of local culture nor their environment. They typically form following major disasters and disruptive events, as thousands move to remote locations assigned by international organizations and other countries. Though these camps are designed to be temporary, past examples show that most will become permanent features in the landscape. These are the between places, sites in limbo with citizens of nowhere.
As a child, I was one of these displaced people from Thailand. My family was lucky not only to live through three camps but also to have the opportunity for resettlement in northwest Ohio. We never discussed our experience in refugee camps in depth, but I had random faded memories of them as I grew up—the red dirt, the heavy rain, touching an elephant, going through the feeding center, the taste of powdered milk. I remember lifeless bodies floating along the river and holding my mother’s hand watching fireworks, later to understand we were watching bombs and artillery.
Once we resettled, my experience in our new country was good, and the process of adapting and assimilating to our new environment and culture was organic. However, I had a constant, underlying feeling of restlessness—of wanting to know the who, what, why, and how of displaced populations and reconnect with them in order to better understand my own history and identity.
I now use art, architecture, and information mapping/visualization as tools to explore and dissect these between sites and other places that change constantly through the migration of people and/or environment conditions. My process of researching and making is both personal and reflects a larger global context. My work visually examines the vast, complex landscape of political, social, cultural, and personal stories of human displacement. The cartographic drawings combine data and information visualizations with human stories, creating pieces that are both literal and abstract. The work allows viewers to access and appreciate factual complexities while connecting with the people behind the data, forming a visual bridge between people, places, and context.
Thank you to Nussbaum Group for co-sponsoring ARCADE's website and e-newsletter.
Last spring BUILD visited the University of Cambridge where they spoke with Wendy Pullan, director of the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research in the Department of Architecture. Most conflicts today take place in cities, and the Centre aims to provide a better understanding of urban conflict (particularly extreme or specific cases) through interdisciplinary investigation and examination. The discussion focused on the nature of urban conflict, the importance of mapping urban areas to understand social dynamics, and how architecture and infrastructure affect cities in conflict.
BUILD: How did the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research get its start?
Wendy Pullan: It started in 2003 with a small pilot study in Jerusalem based on a loose hypothesis that conflict was increasingly located in cities. The study turned into a large program, Conflict in Cities and the Contested State (CinC), of which I was the director. The 10-year study was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of the UK. The funding allowed us to work with two other universities and bring in people from politics, geography, sociology, anthropology, and law. Interestingly, it was the first major project funded by the ESRC for architecture and led by architects. The project brought cities into the realm of social sciences, and we first looked intensively at Belfast and Jerusalem, the classic divided cities in Europe and the Middle East. Later, we brought in other cities, from historic Berlin to Nicosia, Beirut, Bagdad, and several in Palestine and the Balkans. The funding came to an end in 2013 and the program was transformed into the Centre for Urban Conflicts.
BUILD: You received your Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, your Bachelor of Architecture from the University of British Columbia, and your PhD from the University of Cambridge, all schools in relatively peaceful cities. What led you to study urban conflict?
WP: While in architecture school at UBC, I participated in a program that sent groups of students and teachers abroad for an entire term. When I went, the city in which we studied just happened to be Jerusalem. We lived in a Palestinian hotel in East Jerusalem, and we affiliated with an Israeli architecture school in West Jerusalem. Every day we’d walk across no-man’s-land (and this was the mid-’70s, so it was still really no-man’s-land). We were very aware of experiencing these two cultures physically, and I think that was extremely formative; the professor who took us there wanted us to experience both sides as equally as possible. I ended up living there for 13 years, during which time I taught architecture. In various ways, I’ve been very involved with Jerusalem for a long time. If you’re going to examine the conflict of cities, Jerusalem is an obvious place to study.
BUILD: How has mapping and diagramming been important to studying the conflict in cities?
WP: The original CinC project was set up with the idea that visual research was very important. Through studying these divided cities, we found that they’d never been properly mapped at relatable scales or drawn by the same hand. Once mapped properly, it was enlightening to compare the various cities and actually see how different they were.
Nicosia is the classic divided city with just two halves. Belfast, on the other hand, contains many small-scale separation walls within neighborhoods. And Jerusalem has a long irregular wall. The walls in these three cities alone are completely different from each other. In another study we looked at Vukovar, a town in the former Yugoslavia, and we mapped the city’s coffee houses because they were significant to the locations of the Croat and the Serb populations.
Through studies like these, we were able to develop the idea that drawings are, of course, wonderful for communicating information but also very useful analytically. Architects use drawings to test designs, and although we weren’t designing anything, we still needed to analyse our sites. They were a valuable counterpoint to the work of the social scientists, who were primarily interested in verbal interviews.
BUILD: Have you found that urban conflict mutates and evolves, or do your case studies still apply accurately to current conditions?
WP: Conflicts have changed. They aren’t like traditional wars, such as World War II, in which war is declared, fought, and ended with a postconflict period. Now conflicts tend to be smaller and more numerous. Often they come from within cities, involving civilians rather than the military or foreign powers. So the question of sovereignty has changed a tremendous amount.
We noticed that areas experiencing conflict also suffer it over long periods of time. When there are high levels of conflict and violence, people tend to shrink back into their communities. When things are more peaceful, they move into public places. It is in public places that they might encounter each other and the “other,” which is very important. While tensions tend to remain high, life goes back to a reasonable level of normality. We’ve seen these patterns, and it’s almost an ebb and flow.
BUILD: You’ve written that “cities have been built on the fault lines of culture.” Can you elaborate?
WP: This is actually a quote from Scott Bollens. A city is a place where different people come together—for transportation, trade, or religious reasons. The nature of a city is that it brings different people together. By definition, cities are diverse. Without diversity they are not cities; they may be villages or tribes or some other structure. Because of this diversity, it means every city will have conflict. The question is how much conflict do they have and to what extent can we channel conflicts in constructive ways? That’s where it gets complicated because we don’t understand why some people of different ethnic groups, who have lived together for generations, will suddenly start fighting with each other.
Institutions of governance, like parliament and judicial systems, are adversarial. People don’t often agree with each other, but these institutions provide constructive ways of dealing with conflict so that those involved can reach a point at which they can move on. It’s a dialectical process. We need to rely on this approach much more than we do. We need to find new and creative ways of dealing with conflicts, rather than trying to achieve the impossible task of removing or solving them.
BUILD: Are there examples of architecture playing a role in mitigating urban conflict?
WP: There aren’t many. At the same time, architecture is important because it forms the setting for conflict. We’ve found that it’s really difficult to design for conflict, partly because the architect’s job is mostly about resolving things. Conflict often has no resolution, which is difficult to design for. We’ve found that many places that are more successful in bringing people together are often simple and underdesigned.
Nonetheless, there are some interesting architectural attempts. I recently reviewed a new park in Copenhagen called Superkilen. It’s located in a diverse neighborhood with a large population of Muslim immigrants. The area has a history of unrest, and there have been some riots. It’s a big park, and much of it is taken up by routes for cycling and skateboarding. They’ve invited all of the ethnic and national groups to place something that represents their nations in the park to give them a stake in it. Everyone is excited about it, but whether this will work or not, I don’t know.
BUILD: You’ve used the phrase “excessive levels of conflict” in your talks. What is the threshold between “conflict” and “excessive levels of conflict”?
WP: Tipping points vary and change, and it’s hard to simply say that there’s a certain point of no return. The conflict in Belfast looked terrible until we saw Sarajevo, which looked terrible until we saw Beirut, which looked terrible until we saw Kigali. I’ve come to the conclusion that conflict and violence are really quite different, though they do overlap. Conflict can be productive while violence rarely is. You can have a lot of conflict without violence. To a good extent, the tipping point is when conflict becomes violent, and we really need to pay attention to when the violence becomes uncontainable and self-perpetuating.
BUILD: How do walls and buffer zones affect a city?
WP: Infrastructures put into place over long periods of conflict or occupation change a city. Such imposed barriers hold in them the residue of violence. When you put a wall or a buffer zone into the middle of a city, like in Nicosia, for example, it divides the city and completely changes it. These walls or buffer zones are usually seen as temporary, but they often become permanent, and it is difficult to know how to get rid of them once they are fixtures in cities. Oftentimes these buffer zones become convenient locations for highways and other infrastructure that further divides the city.
BUILD: Given all of your studies and experiences with urban conflict, what are you investigating now?
WP: With such a good body of case studies on this material, I’m writing a book on the nature of urban conflict. I’m sad to say that the research has been vindicated, and there are many cities now experiencing high levels of conflict. So there is more work to do.
During the Seattle Design Festival, ARCADE celebrated the release of issue 34.2, Architectures of Migration: A Survey of Displacements, Routes, and Arrivals, at 200 Occidental in Pioneer Square.
Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us, to our event sponsors, our volunteers, and to all who contributed their perspectives to this timely issue.
Thank you to Michael Stearns of Hybrid3 Design Studio for taking event photos!
Thank you to our event sponsors Mithun and JTM Construction, and venue host Urban Visions, with a special shout out to Armando Garcia! Thank you to suds provider Fremont Brewing, and furniture sponsor Room & Board. And thank you to grantmakers 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for supporting ARCADE.
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