Conflict Zones: Bang

Synopsis

A five week design-build studio with twenty four Chulalongkorn University INDA students in Berlin. The project was run in collaboration with Yarinda Bunnag and Carson Chan (Program e.V.). Two major projects were produced by the studio. The first project challenged the notion of boundaries and historical memory, near the site of the former berlin wall. The second project culminated in the design and construction of temporary structures in Preussenpark – a park in West Berlin, where Thai nationals have created a unofficial food market. The project questioned the ways in which public space is used, and how a temporal architecture can be constructed through minimal installations within a public space.

Studio Introductory Brief

Berlin is a city that is rife with conflicts from the scars on the surfaces of its museums and monuments to the voids it bears in the heart of its urban landscape. Historically, Berlin, has been witness and host to some of the most significant socio-political conflicts in the modern world. The architectures of the social and political movements are continually questioned as new regimes emerge. For example, a Palladian planned Nazi bunker has been transformed from a space that shelters citizens from attacks, to a storehouse for fresh fruits, a space for hosting raves, and currently a private collection of contemporary art.

Today, contemporary Berlin is actively rebuilding and reframing its identity, both through economic policy, architectonic revisions, and cultural initiatives. Despite the seemingly surfeiting development in the city, Berlin is bankrupt and supported by its neighboring states. In this case the proposed resolution of (economic) conflicts has shifted away from tactical warfare and towards stimulating artistic initiative and creative capital. Art, as a medium often used to pronounce conflicts, becomes the principle venue for promoting tension: regulating society by challenging accepted fundamentals and equilibria.

The course will investigate the varying manifestations of conflict in Berlin. How do art and architecture participate in framing/representing/staging these conditions? Students and professors will work together toward formulating a hypothesis of architectural conflict which will result in a physical test of the hypothesis – a primary experience.