In Search of The Pluriverse tunes into different places in and around Europe to learn from local initiatives how design can contribute to cultivating futures that have a future. The destinations are the three major cities of İstanbul, Berlin and Casablanca (often seen as gateways to and from Central Asia, Central Europe and North Africa) and the remote rural areas of the Isle of Mull and Asturias (places where self-sufficient living and informal learning thrive).
Testing İstanbul’s Waters
Water supply in urban areas is vital, no exception for mega-city İstanbul where the water distribution system dates back to pre-Roman times. Water as a commons, as metaphor, as politics: the question is, who quenches whose thirst?
After the eight warming up talks, this series of podcasts anticipates on the Thirst Walk, part of the closing activities of the 5th İstanbul Design Biennale. This thirst-provoking walk will provide perspectives on İstanbul’s water situation from makers based in the Netherlands and Turkey.
*Due to the ongoing pandemic, this Travelling Academy trip happened partly online.
Thriving on Mull
On this weather-beaten island off the west coast of Scotland, two artists from The Netherlands set up camp, vowing to “work with the elements, not fight them”. Over time they grew a garden, a seasonal residency programme and a neighbourhood barn-in-a-barn. How to thrive and “make kin” in such a remote place, together with other humans and non-humans? The team of In Search of the Pluriverse will find out by temporarily relocating, in good company, to this northern, “unparalleled edge of Europe.”
Fluid selves, fluid Berlin
Perceived as one of the ‘old’ European centres, Berlin is a layered, battered and blooming city, home to a multitude of built-in fringes. These worlds-within-worlds manifest themselves as alternative and queer/artistic communities. Can we learn with them how to live together, in difference? Which fertile forms of urban community-building can fluid identities help to instigate? Which role does creative making play in supporting this ‘other-than-modern world-making’?
The right to the city: Casablanca revisited
In 2010, Wong&Krier lived and worked three months in Casa, as locals call their city. Aim was to embrace the city as a place of production and to make a portrait of its hidden qualities: ICI Casa, Ville Inventive. The resulting exhibition was an optimistic tribute to the resourcefulness of a thriving city. Many questions were however left unanswered once the residency was over: the precariousness and invisibility of day jobs, petits métiers ; the gentrification of the city through capital investors such as a gigantic shopping mall; or how to tackle threats to architectural heritage. More than ten years and a pandemic later, Wong&Krier come back to Casa, in search of who makes the city, who owns it, and who is granted access to it.