Thursday, May, 22nd, 2014
Campus in Camps, Al Feneiq Center, (Dheisheh Refugee Camp)
The talk looks at a recent articulation of community architecture that has emerged out of the intensifying experience of informality and associated slum settlements in the rapidly growing cities of Asia. Born out of the decade-long experience of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR), the Community Architects Network (CAN) has been founded in 2010 and by now connects practitioners in 19 countries. Based on a three-year long engagement between the author and CAN, the paper will reflect on the critical possibility of such practice discussing propositions, ambitions, challenges, and opportunities, , and the political potential of architecture as embodied in the practice of CAN. With a focus on the production of knowledge, the involvement of establishments of education, an a specific design narrative the paper then would read Bartleby’s “I would prefer not to” as an index of inoperative power that is the ability to disrupt the function of power by refusing to either obey or reject it as a renewed understanding of the emancipatory potential of architecture’s potentialities.
Based on a three-year long engagement between the authors and CAN, the talk will reflect on the experience of CAN – discussing propositions, ambitions, challenges, and opportunities, and eventually returning to the triangulation of the role of the practitioner, the meaning of community, and the political potential of architecture as embodied in the practice of CAN. Specifically the talk wish to illustrate theory of equality and aesthetics as developed by Jacques Ranciere in order to reflect back on democracy and the role of community development for democratic practices of citizenship. His work allows a not self-concerned approach toward an alternative spatial development that can disrupt dominant patterns of city production and allow the political articulation of the experience of the excluded into fields of recognition. Using Ranciere’s concept of the spatiality of equality, which invites to scrutinise the relationship between specific spatial configurations and social relations, the article will endeavour to create a series of reflections on the relationship between democratic practices and design against the material reality of the community architecture.
Towards an Architecture of Dissensus: Participatory Urbanism in South-East Asia
Dr. Camillo Boano is an architect, urbanist and educator. He is Senior Lecturer at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL, where he directs the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development. He has over 18 years of experiences in research, consultancies and development work in South America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. His research interests are focused on urban development, design and urban transformations, shelter and housing interventions, reconstruction in conflicted areas and divided cities, and on the contested urbanism with a specific emphasis on architectural and spatial strategies, on a pedagogical role of Urban Design and the critical role of philosophy and political theory in urban design. In UCL Camillo is also co-director of the Urban Laboratory and the director of the DPUsummerLab initiative. He is author of “Contested Urbanism in Dharavi: writing and project from the resilient city” with Caroline Newton and William Hunter, and he just recently got published two articles tiled ” Potential, freedom and space: Reflections on Agamben’s potentialities in the West Bank” in Space and Polity and “Towards an Architecture of Dissensus: Participatory Urbanism in South-East Asia” in Footprint. He is currently working on researching the emancipatory potential of the community architect network in South East Asia and on the application of the inoperative potential of Giorgio Agamben philosophy on architecture and design research.