Join us this Sunday for Creative Hub member, Lydia Xynogala’s, book launch.
Four Seafaces charts the spatial conditions of contemporary Mumbai, probing the interaction between formal patterns and cultural and social practices. The seafaces, where Mumbai opens to the ocean, provide a physical framework that organizes and animates a range of collective actions. The booklet contains a score of formal diagrams, drawings that choreograph the actions of couples, families, elderly people, beggars, police and tourists drawn to the margin where the city intersects the water and the sky. A series of photos complements the drawings, depicting the diversity of positions in which bodies sit, stand or flow along the edge, reconfiguring the materiality of the space and producing its unique public character.
Dark Ecology, explores the extremely polluted environment of the Russian city of Magnitogorsk. In contrast to the standard, technocratic management of degraded terrain, left behind by twentieth-century industrialization, Xynogala proposes the exploitation of its architectural potential. More than merely a cleaning operation, approach transforms the post-industrial landscape into flexible ground, responsive to the multiple and sometimes contradictory needs and desires of its twenty-first century inhabitants. The mitigation
of polluted soil is articulated through experimental research into new structural materials, new building typologies and new forms of leisure. By opening up architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism to the disciplinary concerns of the environmental and social sciences, new and experimental approaches to design and construction emerge. In Dark Ecology, this results not only in the prospective rehabilitation of a highly degraded city but also in unexpected programmatic adjacencies, unforeseen building types, and a much-welcomed revitalization of standard architectural practices.