Borders and Territories: Identity in Place

The ANCB programme Borders and Territories: Identity in Place aims to examine new spatial, geopolitical and cultural possibilities related to nations and people on our globe. In this discourse, we consider identity as a spatial problem caught between territorial claims and today’s global dynamics. Concepts of dividing and connecting are vital to address the question what is or makes territories that are defined (1) physically/politically, (2) by culture and ways of thinking and (3) by common interests such as economy. What type of physical, infrastructural and political basis has to be established to meet the various ideas of home and “Heimat” of societies that are increasingly culturally diverse and socially divided? How can we use their potential? This includes the investigation of borders of different qualities – from physical divisions, “rurban” situations and political frontiers of countries and states to invisible boundaries between disciplines and social or cultural borders. In the course of this process, new strategies of perceiving, evaluating, and designing space may be generated and subsequently their creative, social and political relevance can be investigated and tested. Knowledge and spatial experience is critical to the appreciation and understanding of the interdependencies of spaces. We will also ask how the less quantifiable aspects of perception and heritage of place, including narrative, memory and the transit space of the border itself, might be interpreted and reflected. 

Therefore, the focus relating to the architecture of borders and subsequent typologies along those border lines will provide a thread to be woven in with questions what architecture and (urban) planning can contribute to define, connect and open spaces or spatial possibilities. The shift towards a definition of “corridors” and “translocalities” becomes obvious in the development of a new silk road and global “closure” as promoted by many populist governments around the world. This also touches on the issue how indigenous rights of land and territories can exist within an occupant/ colonial state. Another aspect deals with the interrelation of architecture and repression.

On a formal level, cultural and artistic interventions will also be included along the architectural, political and design aspects mentioned above. The programme enables investigations based on different methodologies, practices and objectives from art and science into creative, behavioural and cultural science positions and processes. By crossing the “border” to various disciplines the programme aims to stimulate a discourse on the evaluation of space and its political and social dimensions.
Considering the rise of the internet, IOT, social media and connectivity, digital spaces, as places without (physical) borders, will also be taken into account.

Other key aspects include:
- Borders, boundaries, autonomy, identity and what these mean today
- Expanding borders into different countries
- Refugee situations with minorities fleeing into neighbouring, even poorer countries, causing states of emergency.

Borders and Territories II: Spatial Representations of Connections and Disconnections with ANCB Partners ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg and Dr. Nadine Godehardt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) 
Podium Discussion: 27 September 2018
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Video Recording

Bucerius Summer School: Science. Fiction. Politics. Visible and Invisible Borders with ANCB Partners ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg and Dr. Nadine Godehardt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)
Workshop: 18 August 2018
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Borders and Territories: Identity in Place with ANCB Partner Dr. Nadine Godehardt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)
Kick-off Public Debate: 22 March 2018
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Video Recording

Across the earth, places have evolved to be remarkably distinct from each other, even when their geography and climate are similar. Culture is the manmade factor that expresses this difference, most tangibly in the built environment. Carried by the spatial practices of a society – be these daily activities or significant events – culture requires supporting spaces for these practices, which reciprocally reshape the form and evolve the functionality of the supporting spaces, thus expressing shared identity. Despite the importance of culture to how all places look and are experienced, it tends not to be a critical tool in urban design and planning, and is rather used merely as a lens with which to discern past heritage, if at all. This is lost potential, especially in the present-day era of rapid urbanisation and movement: when there is often little time to grow an identity through shared meaning, as entire cities can emerge in just a few years; where urban dwellers increasingly move, live and work between multiple cities, calling the idea of a local society into question; where large portions of societies migrate to distant and culturally different places, escaping environmental, political or economic disasters that also destroy cherished urban fabrics, and where local public spaces increasingly serve as satellite arenas for international politics. This theme looks to culture to explore how built form and spatial typologies might assist the expression of identity. Can architecture and urban planning any longer express the multi-layer identity of present day cities? Can the methods and tools of urban practice catch up with an ever-evolving understanding of culture, to broaden and revise the spectrum of housing, workspace, public and open space typologies in line with how societies need and use space today? Or, are other concepts required to illuminate the connections between people and where and how they live? How should the reconstruction of lost built fabric and the identification of heritage be approached?

Part of the Theme:
Identity in Place

Concept Paper:
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Miriam Mlecek


ANCB Partners 2018

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