# HETEROTOPIC ARCHITECTURES /// Ecological Borders. Think Space’s new Competition as proposed by Francois Roche

It now became an habit on the Funambulist to follow one of the (too) rare fair and interesting idea competition organized by the Zagreb Society of Architects and curated by Eva Franch: Think Space.
The first competition was entitled Urban Border with a topic proposed by Shohei Shigematsu and I got to publish the winners’ project Demotown designed beautifully by Jesse Honsa & Gregory Mahoney.
The second competition, Geopolitical Borders (see previous article) was proposed by Teddy Cruz and the winners are now visible by following this link.

Here comes the third of those competitions and the high level of interest remains as the new juror happens to be Francois Roche (R&Sie(n)).
The borders here are Ecological. YUmen[eco]tec-pharming is in fact a competition about rethinking ecology (or ecosophy following a concept formulated by Felix Guattari) not anymore as a new form of transcendental moral but rather as a participation to the various processes of material deterioration and re-composition in stake in our environment.
As enunciated in the competition’s brief, those processes involve “screwed, chewed, shat, sweated, swallowed, vomited, pined, secreted, woven, knitted, extruded, staggered, scattered, coagulated, aggregated, welded, pinched, braided, spidernetted, bonsaied, crystallised, calcified, excreted, expanded, branched, pulped, smeared, coagulated, excavated, assembled and disassembled, bended, blended” materials that needs to be considered as the production of humans and another living species.
This competition balances this broad field of exploration by imposing a precise frame of action that can be read below:

PARTIAL-TOTAL ECOLOGY: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming”

I remember…
– That the idea of a necessary mediation, a kind of social contract, was essentially
based on a juridical conception of the world, as elaborated by Hobbes, Rousseau and Hegel. For Spinoza, on the contrary, forces were inseparable from a spontaneity and a productivity that made their development possible without mediation, i.e., their composition. They were elements of socialization in and of themselves. Spinoza thought directly in terms of “the multitude” and not individuals, in a conception… of physical and dynamic composition in opposition to the juridical contract. – Bodies were conceptualized as forces. As such, they were defined not only by their random encounters and collisions (state of crisis); they were defined by relationships between an infinite number of parts making up each body, which already characterized that body as “a multitude”. Gilles Deleuze, introduction to Anomalie Sauvage, Toni Negri, PUF, 1983

This competition calls for a radical reimagination of the current relationship between humans and the built environment through the establishment of new architectural protocols of coexistence in the search of a new Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming”.

In the past architecture has always operated as a mediator between humans and the built environment, within an anthropocentric ideological framework with a deterministic approach. This competition seeks to escape this direct relationship and asks for submissions able to produce new socio-ecological scenarios able to reimagine our current ideas and preconceptions, in relation to notions of equilibrium and sustainability within Western Culture.

Going beyond notions of moral ecology or fake sustainability, this competition asks for entries able to envision new architectural scenarios and moments of invention by looking into spaces of residual otherness to reconstitute canonical forms of thinking.

These new socioecological architectural visions will provide a new understanding and a new set of possible relations of humans with the planet.

Each entry must submit a scenario for a new Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming” in the form of text, protocols, codes or images that clearly identify three objects of research and projection: subjects, scenario and tools.

I. Subject[s]-Inhabitant[s]: Co-species/Co-substances

In order to avoid direct anthropocentrism [that in essence is impossible to bypass], the competition asks to have as the subjects of inhabitation of these new scenarios a minimum of two different species [including human] and two different by-products [i.e. excrements] in relation to these species.

II. Site-Scenario: Relations-Processes

Each submission will have to identify/create a site condition suitable for the development of the projected Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming”. Due to nature of the competition, based on relations and processes, the site is to be understood as a space of conflict, transaction and relations. The site will be identified through its own sharing protocols, evolutionary dynamics and transitory transactions. The project might be developed within spaces that go beyond current acceptable notions of correctness including disgusting, monstrous or repulsive. With a similar approach, notions of life or death, success or failure might be equally treated as value creators.

III. Tools: Chemical-Technical-Visceral

From the machinistic, passing by the chemical to the visceral, some of the processes that the entrant might consider in elaboration of this new Partial-Total Ecology are: screwed, chewed, shat, sweated, swallowed, vomited, pined, secreted, woven, knitted, extruded, staggered, scattered, coagulated, aggregated, welded, pinched, braided, spidernetted, bonsaied, crystallised, calcified, excreted, expanded, branched, pulped, smeared, coagulated, excavated, assembled and disassembled, bended, blended, and their machine picked, spiked, pinched, caressed, embraced, sliced, cut, laminated and loved [list in formation]

General guidelines:

I.TEXT: 800 words
Each entry is to submit a text that describes the proposed scenario for a Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming”, not to exceed 800 words.

II. PANELS: 4 [format A2 vertical, in 300 dpi]  PANELS [maximum and minimum]
Panel 1_ Subject[s]-Inhabitant[s]: Co-species/Co-substances
Panel 2_ Site-Scenario: Relations-Processes
Panel 3_ Tools: Chemical-Technical-Visceral
Panel 4_Single image

Representation: Beyond the visual and beyond the diagram

In order to go beyond cosmetic and superficial understanding of the subjects, site and tools that generate and produce this project, this competition asks for new means of representation that go beyond the visual, diagrammatic and iconographic, and explore the synaptic, synesthetic, conflictive and visceral. No superficial collage on situation, but the expression of the exchanges through the flesh of an idea, with sweating materialities, and breathing substancialities…

– Fork of cannibal to eat human flesh, end of 18 century, wood, Fiji, Polynesia (picture)
– Ant Farm, Dolphin embassy, 1974
– “Regulation for the human Park”, Peter Sloterdijk (Regeln für den Menschenpark)  / http://alcor.concordia.ca/~gnosis/vol_vi/Sloterdijk.pdf
– Coldness and Cruelty of G. Deleuze, on Sacher-Masoch contract (venus in fur) / http://www.gestures.org/eroticism/Deleuze_Masochism.pdf
– (n)certainties studio F. Roche/ Gsapp 09 (life and death experiments) / http://www.new-territories.com/000%20my%20web%20site/Nplus1/www.new-territories.com/blog/n5/indexbece.html?page_id=42
– Prometheus / permanent suffering from the endless liver physiological growing and eating (picture)
– Cannibal Plant (picture)
– Symbiotic mutualism! (picture)
– Goya, Las Pinturas Negras, (Saturno devorando a un hijo) (picture)
– R&Sie(n) Bachelor-Machinism (picture)
– Dunne & Raby… Design Noir / Secret Life of Electronic Objects / smallneckxray / “The human body could thereafter metabolize a highly diverse range of nutrients, from tree branches to algae-filled pond water…”
– “Tous cannibal”, exhibition, Paris, La Maison Rouge, curator Jeanette Zwingenberger, http://www.lamaisonrouge.org/spip.php?article726

References F. Roche / New-territories
Web www.new-territories.com
Blog http://www.new-territories.com/blog/
Lab-Research-Teaching http://www.new-territories.com/laboratoriesteaching.htm
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Roche

Reference Eva Franch
“Ecologies of excess” in “Eco redux” AD (2010)

Interview of Francois Roche in the frame of this competition:

2 Comments on “# HETEROTOPIC ARCHITECTURES /// Ecological Borders. Think Space’s new Competition as proposed by Francois Roche

  1. Hi there, just a clarification, the competition is not organized by Storefront for Art and Architecture but curated by its director, Eva Franch.

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