A symposium hosted by the LSU School of Architecture
Nishat Awan, ‘Architectures of Displacement and Forms on Non-belonging’, Louisiana State University, USA (22-24 Feb 2019)
In this presentation I will explore the ways in which an architectural understanding of space can help us respond to the current situation of the increasing displacement of people across the planet. How can our response to such situations move beyond merely providing shelter to understanding the relationship between displacement and belonging? The presentation will problematise how a concept such as ‘spatial agency’ that relies on an understanding of architecture as social relation, can be mobilised to work with those situations where the answer is not necessarily lived and localised. Instead the border and bordering are conditions that prompt us to think about distributed and networked relations and to address spaces that are difficult for us to enter. What does architectural knowledge offer in such situations and how do we enact spatial agency?
The concept of non-belonging provides a way to move beyond the now well-known and well-trodden realm of architecture as social relation. Instead it allows us to think belonging beyond human relations, towards the non-human, the animal, the geological, the alien even. Can non-belonging as a concept also be mobilised for working in contexts where social relations are difficult to rely on? I will explore some of these issues through forms of visual representation and analysis that allow a negotiation with ideas of witnessing, testimony and (non)-belonging.
Read more about event here.