Sensing Urban Matter
Architektūros fondas participates in the Future Architecture Platform programme Landscapes of Care by engaging with research across ecology, geography, and architecture, among other fields, and will explore the relations between cities, landscapes, technoecologies, and information flows.
“The gravel pit, like other mining holes, is the reverse image of the cityscape it creates — extraction in aid of erection. If the modern city is vertical (a climb, leading to a privileged penthouse overview), landscape is predominantly horizontal (a walk, through all walks of life). Like archeology, which is time read backwards, gravel mines are metaphorically cities turned upside down, though urban culture is unaware of its origins and rural birthplaces.” (Lucy Lippard, Undermining. A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West, New York: The New Press, 2014, p. 11).
Architektūros fondas participates in the Future Architecture Platform programme Landscapes of Care by engaging with research across ecology, geography, and architecture, among other fields, and will explore the relations between cities, landscapes, technoecologies, and information flows. The urban space and its materiality is always connected to wider ecosystems and global networks of logistics, through which matter, raw resources, and information circulate. The idea of a smart city propels the evolution of these networks by turning urban objects and materials into digital data.
However, according to media scholar Shannon Mattern, urban spaces have combined analogue and digital spheres, “dirt and data, ether and ore”, in a smart way since ancient times. Departing from the tension between urban locality and global networks, the pre-digital smartness of the city and its materials, Sensing Urban Matter aims to research new perspectives on the relationship between urban development and natural systems, exploring urban spaces through their material and ecological histories and the information exchanges they enable beyond the algorithmic, corporate technology-based smart space. How could the circulation of urban materials be reimagined in a truly “smart” way? How can we know cities and their histories anew, following the development of their material and technical systems? What are the possible alternative systems of exchange between matter and information?
The potentials of spatial practices in a wider sense that map, reverse, redirect or remediate these relations lie within imagining ways of healing and living in compromised ecosystems, responding to the ways toxicity emerges and travels in the living environment. Architektūros fondas is looking forward to proposals that invoke concepts of remediation, detoxification, decongesting and practices of repair and maintenance, concerning logistics of urban matter. In 2021, Architektūros fondas will invite five to seven creators from the Future Architecture Platform to develop and present their ideas in such formats as: lecture series, field trips, workshops and different exhibiting formats — both site-specific and gallery displays.
Architektūros fondas operates as a platform, based in Vilnius, Lithuania, hosting a variety of projects, such as the Architecture Talks series, Open House Vilnius, Traveling Architecture Workshops, architecture critique platform and podcast Aikštėje. It also welcomes emerging bottom-up initiatives and either suggesting or creating contexts for new formats and ideas to grow. Being an open platform for experimental ideas, Architektūros fondas is already adopting the tools of care in terms of collective self-organization, responsibility and sharing.
Enter ROOM 7!