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Traumatic Landscape




Traumatic Landscapes Symposium    

Traumatic Landscapes is looking at the ideas surrounding our current state geopolitics combined with the rapidly changing climate, displacement, conflict, dwindling resources, and this hyper-technological revolution that’s happening around us simultaneously. As architecture loses its materiality, and also its place, it’s becoming necessary to study different modes of habitation. As we are traveling within the Traumatic  Landscape inflicted by the effects of global politics—and its accompanying degenerative forces, both societal and environmental, upon local regions—we see that the existing models no longer apply...-November 2019

Early Submissions:

Sepideh Majidi: Degenerative Architecture:

The Subversity of Decay Within Hegemonic Matrices

Curious peeling away of the layers of actualized spaces and forms by The Subversity of Decay Within Hegemonic Matrices—  the degenerative process, with it's remnants, enormous power, cuts through the total space, giving rise to intensive and extensive—qualitative and quantitative—sets and de-structuring systems. The matrices are conditionally rezoned and subdivided, and are generating sets of worlds and entities, projections, configurations, and blueprints. Disturbances and perturbations—the source of the degenerative process—are traveling the latitudes and longitudes of  the dredge zones of , ceasing the matter in its most remote potentialities; cutting through and disturbing the consistency of the perceptual, conceptual, and the geological, maps and territories and our world's structures …

Oblique City: Re-Examining the Shared Space.

 We are re-examining the notion of shared space. We are imagining new forms of spatiality, where there is no longer an interior and exterior or a given space. As the locale expands from a central and discrete position through the continuity of a woven strata of relations between separate locales, the nature of interacting points is rearranged and redefined, with torsions to the Outside.
Everything can be reconstructed. As the observers detach from inertial reference frames and the local perspectives, these local perspectives break into a multitude of different references and frames and abstract perspectives, reconnecting and binding by group operations. These operations and functions work in an abstract domain which is a Total Space.
To construct the general structure, we create new sets of group operations over the base space. The way we connect back these points or ‘fibers’ over the base space, allows us to apply folds and twists. As the general structure connects back to itself, it creates a twisted dialectic which abolishes the distinction between inside and outside, the local and the global.

Nadim Choufi: Entangle for the Alien to Continue 


On earth and other planets, extreme climate conditions have shifted the nature of living space. The problems of space are no longer physical; they are biological and are seen in biotech and architecture firms designing at the limits of life.

The video essay begins by tracing the influence of the pet-toy Sea Monkeys, marketed as Instant Life, on bioengineering and multi-planetary architecture as they exemplify failed promissory capitalistic mechanisms of care for built living environments and species while unfolding to complete the transition from capitalistic efficiency to ecoefficiency.

Yet 100-year architectural plans for Mars colonies and bioengineered extremophiles are produced for an unsustainable survival of capitalism that seeks to overcome its own ecological limits. Entangle for the Alien to Continue is a series of 3D infrastructures that exist as sculptures and in a video essay that deals with the material trajectory of evolution through design and a reconfiguring of efficiency to eco-efficiency, where the care for entanglement replaces production as an evolutionary scheme.

Sarah Fallah: ReverCity

The heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing, in a single real place, Several spaces and/or several sites that are in themselves incompatible—a spatiotemporal juxtaposition overriding the functional zoning of the modernist. In the post-Fordist, post-capitalist constructed landscapes in which we exist, “emplacements” re-read through temporal differences, are the de-facto of the urban condition. Furthermore, the Anthropocene epoch is the vivid face of nature encountering an indigenously insidious mutation by the homo-sapien.

The city of the dead, as Foucault calls it, can be seen as the seismograph of the zeitgeist. An emplacement that is a contradicting resultant of the fast-paced City of the Living in the Indigo Era.

The City of the Dead with its metaphysical time dilation, is the other side of the society of the living, or, rather than the other side, its asynchronous, yet quite a corporeal reflection, so real that it cannot be assumed as a simulation of the past, but a timeless simulacra of the time continuum; “[f]or the dead have gone through the moment of change, and their monuments are the visible sign of the permanence of their city.”

To truly assimilate the City of the Dead, one needs to be either among its crowd or be a disinterested observing party, interested in a longitudinal study of the bio-chemical interactions, hidden six-feet-under.

The project is a conceptual investigation of what happens to such invisible cities through time and how the visible urbanity is interacting with or counteracting against the invisible real.

Benjamin Hakimian: Other Worlds Locator

 With all this data, OWL can model worlds not yet realized...One simply has to stand within OWL and it will simulate a future scenario based on their thoughts, dreams, and realities. Savvy users can interact with OWL through thought and performance to guide and shape a new world. Once satisfied the user can submit their located world. OWL will save each user's world and place them in the correct ism. Worlds will begin to overlap and the isms will blend into one another. Thus the individualized worlds coagulate into a collective of humanity's idealizations. The result will be nothing short of chaotic and unfathomable, yet in a sense beautiful and true.

Shaum Mehra - Yury Kogan: Traumatic Cities

The form of the Cities as an immovable infrastructurs with their roots firmly planted in the earth, is rapidly becoming an archaic system for living. Climate change is eroding our shorelines and resculpting the contours of our human habitable Earth. Increased political instability and the ensuing warfare that follows makes the City a helpless target. As recent history has shown, once proud cities can be reduced to rubble in mere moments. The immovable city has nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. It is at the mercy of circumstance.

Traumatic Cities envisions a new City types, emerging as a response to our present global conditions. There are Cities that can adapt and transform as circumstances dictate. They are mobile, shapeless, fluid, decentralized. Its instincts are defensive--to take flight, disperse, hide--yet it is capable of attack, of colonization, of amorphous mold-like campaigns of geopolitical aggregation and domination.

Mahsa Vanaki: Dominant Objekt

DO is an alien, but not a biological being. It can native to Earth or from elsewhere. It does not have a morbid nor an exotic look, since it cannot be seen by human eye. DO is in constant mutation which makes it impossible to examine.

Originated as a form of intelligence seeking to understand its context, DO is primarily a series of data graphs that run simultaneously. Graphs mapping their immediate environment, as well as remote sensing. The higher frequency received by DO always overwrites the lower, therefore, DO always remains a single entity.

Taraneh Naddafi & Jai Haissman:


The ENDO vs EXO juxtaposed frames the dynamics of foreignness as a disruptive and destructive genius to explore ethnocultural, ecosystem, global warming, Industrial Age evolutions. We are called to immerse those willing to phenomenologically engage their curious mind in the perspectival shift from micro to macro contexts of foreignness in cellular matrices, the illusion of the separate self, culture, ecosystems, terraforming, through the lens of shamanic narrative, conservation, the sublime, sen/scent(ual) olfactory representation, and BIOPHILIC Eros vs NECROPHILIC Thanatos dialectics.

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