Echoing Borders initiative at GSAPP



The workshop “Echoing Borders: the Shelter, the Camp, the City, and the State” ends in Istanbul after two intensive sessions in Jordan and Turkey since August 7th. Click here to register for the Echoing Borders Fall ‘14 seminar co-taught by Nina Kolowratnik and Nora Akawi with Madeeha…

Open Memory: Echoing Borders Global Film Screenings 09/16 – 09/26 


The workshop and long term initiative “Echoing Borders: The Shelter, The Camp, The City, and The State. The Spatialization of Forced Migration in Jordan and Turkey,” organized by Studio-X Amman and Studio-X Istanbul in August, addresses the necessity for understanding and analyzing the evolution of ‘temporary settlements’ in relation to the place of the refugee in contemporary migration politics in the region.

This September, Echoing Borders presents a global film screening on the question of refuge and refugees. The films will be shown on the same days in Amman at the Columbia Global Center, Istanbul at Studio-X Istanbul, Mumbai at Studio-X Mumbai, and New York City in Avery Hall at Columbia University.
Week 1:
09/16 Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars by Zach Niles, Banker White, 2005

09/17 Nuclear Nation by Atsushi Funahashi, 2012

09/18 Which Way Home by Rebecca Cammisa, 2009

09/19 Rain in a Dry Land by Anne Makepeace, 2006
Week 2:
09/23 Limina by Mario Rizzi, 2008

09/23 Al Intithar by Mario Rizzi, 2013

09/24 The Invasion of Lampedusa by Olly Lambert, 2011

09/25 X-Mission by Ursula Biemann, 2008

09/25 Sinirdakiler/Two at the Border by Felicitas Sonvilla, Tuna Kaptan, 2013

Read more about the Open Memory Initiative here

Architectures of Security


Camps, prisons and compounds; airports and embassies; faraday shields, drone geographies or domestic retreats. What is architecture’s role in the construction of contemporary security apparatus?

The Studio-X Global series Security Regimes seeks to understand the ways in which architecture participates in what Giorgio Agamben has called, in his book State of Exception, the “unprecedented generalization of the paradigm of security as the normal technique of government.” By examining global spaces of exception, from detention camps to the particular spatial and geopolitical order constructed by mass surveillance and drone strikes, this research aims to understand and represent the relationship between architecture and security, and their articulation at the intersection of legal and physical environments.

As part of this long term initiative, we are currently working on UNMANNED, a publication series co-edited by Malkit Shoshan (FAST) Ethel Baraona (dpr-barcelona) and the Marina Otero (Director, Global Network Programming,Studio-X), which addresses the possibilities and impact of the security structures and technologies on the built environment. What are the spatial and ethical implications of warfare technology? How can emerging technologies be leveraged to offer alternatives to the spatial assemblage of contemporary power? Can or should architects go beyond the visualization and exposure of the militarization of public space? We seek to unpack these questions through five main topics: Drones; Adhocracy; Retreat; Compounds; and Missions.

These five themes are explored through a series of public events, conversations and collaborations with architects, artists and designers, policy makers, military officials, lawyers, diplomats, aid workers, hackers, novelists, human rights experts, academics and researchers, which have already been initiated at Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam) in The Drone Salon, and at Studio-X.

Confirmed contributors: Arthur Holland Mitchell (Co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Drone); Belkis Willie (Researcher Human Rights Watch, Yemen); Bradley Samuels (SITU Research); Catherine Harwood (Leiden University, expert in International Law); Dan Gettinger (Co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Drone); Dirk Deichmann (Multidisciplinary process research, Post-Doc, Erasmus University); Erwin Marx (Engineer, Ministry of Defense); Eyal Weizman (Forensic Architecture); Josh Begley (Data artist); Kees Matthijssen (The Dutch head of the mission in Afghanistan, Military - Advisor Department of Foreign Affairs); Liam Young (architect, futurist, critic and curator); Marcel Rot (Engineer, Ministry of Defense); Martine van der Does (Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Matthew Stadler (writer); Naureen Shah (Legislative Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union); Lt.Col Pieter Mink (senior advisor Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Royal Netherlands Army Command); Quirine Eijkman (Representative of Amnesty International and expert in International Law); Ruben Pater (designer); Simon van Melick (NGO representative, Spark); Rein Dekkers (Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Robert Kluijver (Private consultant, culture and civic society); Yael Messer (art curator).

The Studio-X Global series Security Regimes was launched last Spring at Studio-X Istanbul with the exhibition ‘Compressed: Guantánamos,’ an initiative of Columbia Global Centers | Turkey and Studio-X, with the contribution of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, Truth Justice Memory Center and the Civil Society in the Penal System Association. The exhibition was presented along with conversations and a publication documenting Turkey’s prisons titled ‘Hidden Histories of Cities.’

These events had been followed by “Landscapes of Secrecy: Data and Reporting in the Drone Debate,” a panel discussion at Studio-X NYC in collaboration with Bard’s Center for the Study of the Drone, and by the workshop Echoing Borders: The Spatialization of Forced Migration in Jordan & Turkey co-organized by Studio-X Istanbul and Studio-X Amman, which tracks the transforming typologies of temporary settlements in the camp and the city. The Security Regimes series aims for an understanding of architecture in the expanded context of spatial politics.

Dispatch from Studio-X

The Fall 2014 GSAPP Core Lecture Series presents Dispatch from Studio-X, a series of conversations organized by GSAPP Faculty members in collaboration with Studio-X Directors:

Friday, October 10, 12pm, Ware Lounge 
Dispatch from Studio-X Johannesburg
Radical Imaginaries in an Afro-Future City

Paul Goodwin, Chelsea College of Art, and Kellie Jones, Columbia Art History and Archaeology, in conversation with Mabel Wilson and Mpho Matsipa, GSAPP

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Dispatch from Studio-X Istanbul
Experimental Preservation

Azra Akšamija, David Gissen, Alex Lehnerer, and Tayfun Serttaş
Organized by Jorge Otero-Pailos and Selva Gürdoğan, GSAPP, with responses by Thordis Arrhenius and Erik Langdalen, Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

This event is organized within the framework of the The Fitch Colloquium: Transformative: Seven Ideas for a New Preservation, and is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Program.

Friday, November 21, 9am
Dispatch from Studio-X Amman
Architecture and Representation: The Arab City
Ashraf Abdallah, Senan Abdelqader, Nadia Abu El-Haj, Lila Abu-Lughod, Suad Amiry, George Arbid, Mohamed Elshahed, Yasser Elsheshtawy, Rania Ghosn, Saba Innab, Ziad Jamaleddine, Ahmed Kanna, Bernard Khoury, Laura Kurgan, Adrian Lahoud, Ali Mangera, Reinhold Martin, Magda Mostafa, Nicolai Ouroussoff, Nasser Rabbat, Hashim Sarkis, Felicity Scott, Hala Warde, Mark Wasiuta, and Gwendolyn Wright. Keynote by Timothy Mitchell. 

Organized by Dean Amale Andraos and Nora Akawi, GSAPP, in partnership with Columbia Global Centers | Middle East
Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and Qatar Foundation

Free and open to the public. Events take place in Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, unless otherwise noted. and


Space + Image Pavilion in Mumbai


by GSAPP, Studio-X Mumbai and NMIMS 

‘Our environment today is increasingly influenced by nonmaterial conditions, from which we interpret material equivalences. From the stock market to urban regulations law, the tension between the virtual and the physical is increasingly richer and complex. Most of the time, the rules defining architecture are based on the physical condition of gravity and the economical condition of construction cost. But other forces are shaping our society, from social to informational. are there other forces to be expressed in architecture than responding to gravity?’ These are the thoughts posed by GSAPP Professors Frederic Levrat and Phillip Anzalone. With these questions in mind, a group of six students from (GSAPP) and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), and with the collaboration of Studio-X Mumbai and his Director Rajeev Thakker, developed ‘Space + Image Pavilion’, a small structure which explores the relation between the virtual, the visual, and the physical. 

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China Megacities Lab Summer Workshop 2014: Future of the Museum in China

FACULTY: Jeffrey Johnson, China Megacities Lab

DATES: Aug. 4 - Aug. 24, 2014

LOCATION: Studio-X Beijing


Workshop Description:
Concurrent with China’s rapid urbanization is a museum building boom which is producing an average of approximately 100 new museums a year across the country, with even greater numbers most recently. These often iconic structures act as landmarks for newly planned government and civic centers, CBD’s, cultural districts, and even in some cases, residential and commercial developments, symbolizing the value of culture in the identity of a new China. With this proliferation of new museums, are there trends that can be identified that might mark a paradigm shift in how the museum project is defined? Are there new roles – socially, culturally, politically-that the museum is playing? And what new architectural forms and spatial organizations are being invented to accommodate these new ambitions?

For additional information click here

ACW Radio Show @ Studio-X Johannesburg


Great ACW Show at Studio-X Global Network for Contemporary Urban Developers and innovators alike, were chatted with the Director of the Johannesburg based workspace Dr. Mpho Matsipa and Creative Visual Artist Rendani “Missblacdropp about Contemporary Urbanism and the impact it has in the postmodern society.” The ACW Radio Show is hosted by Mongezi “Mongz” Sikiti and Thando Bam who pick the brain of the Global citizen with progressive, controversial and intellectual topics that get listeners thinking and fascinated in the world around them. 

i2a - Swiss International Workshop – Lugano – 2014

Columbia University – New York
Tonji University – Shanghai
Milan Politecnic - Milan

Lectures Schedule:

Monday July 28
2:00 PM Flavio Canonica - New ways of banking in urban spaces

Tuesday July 29
2:00 PM Virgilio Fidanza – Visual Archeology

Wednesday July 30
2:00 PM Branimir Brkljac- House of Ideas – an Architectural think tank
9:00 PM Frederic Levrat – Virtual/Visual/Physical Environment

Thursday July 31
9:00 PM Oliviero Godi – The reproduction of black squids in North Sea

Saturday August 02
2:00 PM Final Presentation – Student’s projects

The Workshop and the lectures will be presented at the Franklin University Campus, in Lugano
Via Ponte Tresa 29, Sorengo, Switzerland


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Echoing Borders: The Shelter, The Camp, The City, and The State. The Spatialization of Forced Migration in Jordan and Turkey

imageThe workshop ECHOING BORDERS: THE SHELTER, THE CAMP, THE CITY, AND THE STATE addresses the necessity for understanding and analyzing the evolution of ‘temporary settlements’ in relation to the place of the refugee in contemporary migration politics in the region.

Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in March 2011, an estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes taking refuge in neighboring countries or within Syria itself, leaving more than 40% of the Syrian population uprooted. So far 600,000 Syrian refugees fled to Jordan and 800,000 to Turkey. Since 2011 Turkey established 22 camps for 200,000 Syrian refugees, Jordan just opened its third camp for Syrian refugees, Azraq camp, with a capacity of 130,000 people.

 While other important academic endeavors attend to the urgent need for improved planning methodologies and design approaches of temporary settlements in response to war and conflict, in this workshop we will focus on the architectural typologies of temporary refuge (both in the camp and in the city), as reflections of the shifting notion of citizenship.

Participants will work with architects, geographers, anthropologists, lawyers, journalists and graphic designers on mappings and data visualization exercises of migration patterns in the region, and of the trajectories from the border to the camp or to the city, operating according to a joint timeline for both Jordan and Turkey based on the main events of war and conflict causing forced migration to both countries.

The workshop will contribute to the GSAPP Studio-X global research series on Security Regimes, which examines global spaces of exception.

Echoing Borders Public Programming:

Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Housing Solutions and Living Conditions
by Alice Massari, Un Ponte Per…
Thursday, August 7, 2014 
Public Seminar / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Forgotten Migration: The Impact of Media Focus on Refugee Status and Settlement
by Alice Su, freelance journalist/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting
Friday, August 8, 2014
Public Seminar / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

A Lasting Temporariness: Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan
by Luigi Achilli, Institut Français du Proche-Orient Amman
Friday, August 9, 2014 
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Migration and the Evolution of Amman  
by Saba Innab, Architect/Artist
Saturday, August 10, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Visualizing Impact: Infographics with a Cause
by Ahmad Barclay, Visualizing Impact
Monday, August 11, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Transnational Livelihoods and the Iraqi Displacement in Jordan
by Vanessa Iaria, British Institute in Amman / University of Jordan
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Public Seminar / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Prefiguring the State: The Refugee Camps of the Western Sahara
by Manuel Herz, ETH Zurich / Manuel Herz Architects            
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

The Physicality of Displacement – ‘A Place of Impossible Space’
by George Katodrytis, American University of Sharjah
Friday, August 15, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Turkey’s Law on Refugees
by Bertan Tokuzlu, Faculty of Law, Bilgi University
Sunday, August 17, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Mobilities, Social Networks and Urban Space: The Case of Iraqi and Syrian Migrants in Istanbul
by Didem Danış, Department of Sociology, Galatasaray University
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Supporting Refugees in Turkey
by Emel Kurma, Helsinki Citizens Assembly. Response by Ayşe Çavdar, Journalist
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

A Conflictual Architectural Language: Notational Systems as Productive Destabilizer in the Socio-political and Human Rights Field
by Nina Kolowratnik, GSAPP, Columbia University
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Liminal Space: the Complexity of Displacement
by George Katodrytis, Faculty of Architecture, American University of Sharjah
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Reporting from Amman
by Nora Akawi, Studio-X Amman
Friday, August 22, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Towards an Architecture of Peace
Lilet Breddels, ARCHIS
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Camp City: Urbanization of Refugee Camps
by Philipp Misselwitz, Faculty of Architecture, TU Berlin
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul