Silent borders - international architecture workshop

23 agosto - 10 settembre 2010, Johannesburg (South Africa) >[deadline: 31/05/2010]
In the rapid pace of global urbanization slums are today providing shelters for one billion people, which is equivalent to one-sixth of the planet’s population. Without actions the number is expected to double by 2030. Parallel to this critical situation the profession of Architecture contributes to less than 5% of the annual building construction world-wide. This problematic gap suggests that Architecture immediatley expands its field of action and thus claimes new grounds with increased responsibility concerning the development of political and social content. Silent Borders will take the emerging megacity of Johannesburg as a case study to investigate the spatial and mental borderlines, generated by diverse social, economic, cultural and technological conditions that meet, mix and clash within the city. Johannesburg is an elusive, fragmented, and fast growing city, radically transforming its spatial and social configurations. This complex urban situation, that alternates between informal and formal, is an urgent and challenging field of research. Building upon the wake of the 2010 soccer world cup in South Africa, Silent Borders contextualizes the impact of global events on the premises of urban construction (infrastructure, tourism, economy, resources), especially in terms of sustainability. What will remain after the event? What happens with the numerous temporary infrastructures, installations and materials? How can the flow of the invested energies and resources be re-used? Silent Borders will investigate a set of different border conditions in the city of Johannesburg. The spine of these investigations is the newly established Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT). The issue of mobility (and infrastrucure) describes a significant instrument of spatial and social regulations, interactions and urban developement. In South Africa this has been the case, both in the previous Apartheid regime and in the current Post-Apartheid city. The BRT network bridges previous deconnected zones and thus becomes an instrument of Crossing Borders. The BRT serves as a macrosystem for the workshop interconnecting specific areas of investigations and interventions, which raises different aspects and subthemes to the overall workshop topic. Participants (max. 30) Students and professionals in the fields of Architecture , Project Management, Sociology, Economy, Communications and System Theory. Costs Participation fee for the workshop is 450 Euro. Living accomodations and travel costs are not included in the fee. A list of inexpensive lodgings will be provided. Info: