The Silent Borders Workshop

Monday 26 Apr 2010 is an international institution based in Bern, whose purpose is advancing experimentation and research in the field of Experimental Architecture, in response to changing political, economic, technological and cultural conditions in the contemporary world.

In a rapidly growing urban world, slums and informal settlements provide shelter for a sixth of the planet’s population and unless effective action is taken, they are likely to become the most common form of dwelling on earth by 2030. Parallel to this critical situation lies another inconvenient truth that architecture as a profession is affecting no more than 5%of what is built every year around the world. organises international workshops and events with a strong participation of economical, cultural and political players. The institution has set up a network of representatives in Europe, the United States and Asia which can be involved specifically regarding the location, the topic and type of the event. The Silent Borders Workshop will take the megacity of Johannesburg as a case study to investigate the special and mental borderlines generated by the diverse social, economic, technological and cultural conditions that meet, mix and clash within the city.

The design stage will include the hacking and re-use of temporary structures and construction materials leftover from the 2010 World Cup South Africa with the aim of improving critical border conditions.

Phase 1 will be a general mapping of urban borders crossed by the line of newly established Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport System (BRT). This phase will involve mobilising different existing reference systems out of the fields of architecture, culture, sociology and economy. During this phases, lecturers and critics from local universities and institutions will be invited to meet the workshop participants and give insights and readings on the urban dynamics of Joburg.

Phase 2 will focus on the design stage. The identified areas of intervention will be directly addressed with design proposals based on existing resources and inhabitant’s assets in connection with the infrastructures provided by the leftovers from the World Cup event. The workshop will last three weeks, and is open to students, professionals and researchers from architecture and other related fields.

The Silent Borders Workshop will be held 23rd August – 10th September 2010. To apply, contact or click here. For a full project presentation, call for application, biographies, details and calendar, click here.

Key Facts:

South Africa

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