Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation this set of projects interrogates the role of conflict in structuring urban space and experiences.

In Plain Sight
An immersive installation in the US Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
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In Plain Sight presents anomalies in population distribution seen in nighttime satellite imagery of Earth and census grid counts produced by governments worldwide — revealing places with bright lights and no people and places with people and no lights—thus, challenging our assumptions about geographies of belonging and exclusion.

The project was tasked with interrogating the relationship between citizenship and the built environment at the scale of the globe, where the primacy of the individual, the city, and even the nation drops away and is replaced by data: electricity, trade routes, migratory shifts, and the flow of capital, goods and people.

The installation is a collaboration between Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, and Robert Gerard Pietrusko with the Center for Spatial Research, and will be on view from May 26 through November 25, 2018. The installation is conceived and designed for Dimensions of Citizenship, the US Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Chicago.

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In Plain Sight at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture
Image still from In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight, a collaboration between Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, and Robert Gerard Pietrusko with the Center for Spatial Research, will open on May 26, 2018 in Venice, Italy.

The installation is conceived and designed for Dimensions of Citizenship, the US Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Chicago. The installation will be on view through November 25.

In Plain Sight presents anomalies in population distribution seen in nighttime satellite imagery of Earth and census grid counts produced by governments worldwide — revealing places with bright lights and no people and places with people and no lights—thus, challenging our assumptions about geographies of belonging and exclusion.

Several events are planned during the opening weekend, May 24-27, featuring project collaborators Laura Kurgan, Elizabeth Diller, Robert Pietrusko. See the full schedule of events on the Dimensions of Citizenship website here.

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Conflict Urbanism: Urban Language Ecologies
A series of projects that explore the role that language plays in shaping urban space.
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Conflict Urbanism: Language Ecologies explores the role that language plays in shaping urban space. This project grew out of the Spring 2017 seminar, Conflict Urbanism: Language Justice.

Language interacts with its environment at multiple scales and with diverse media. As an ecology, language either dominates, or is vulnerable to its host environments. In this way it often makes conflict visible in urban settings.  

Language works in extraordinary ways – multilingualism can divide a local community and simultaneously connect a global community. Language also works in the most ordinary ways – it mediates nearly every human interaction, from fulfilling the most basic needs to communicating the most abstract ideas.

We have collaborated with the Endangered Language Alliance to build a map which visualizes the incredible diversity of languages spoken in New York City focusing on the most vulnerable languages. We have also worked on a series of case studies about language in New York City. Our research shows that typical maps represent monolingualism very well, drawing boundaries around ethnolinguistic groups; but language ecology, especially in urban areas, is one of both community as well as individual multilingualism. Each case study seeks to address this by taking innovative and sometimes radical approaches to represent the diversity of languages spoken in New York City. Though the projects focus on New York, the methods of visualization and inquiry extend easily to other multilingual, multinational spaces.

Beyond the Census: Languages of Queens map.

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#CLOSErikers Studio Project "After Arrest" Published by Urban Omnibus

Students from Laura Kurgan’s fall 2016 #CLOSErikers Advanced Architecture studio, Clara Dykstra and Stella Ioannidou published their research “After Arrest” as part of Urban Omnibus’s new series, The Location of Justice, which examines “the pervasive and often overlooked infrastructure of criminal justice in New York and the spaces that could serve a more just city.”

Based on consultations with working public defenders, as well as the Center for Court Innovation and Legal Aid, Dykstra and Ioannidou chart a timeline of a hypothetical individual’s first encounters with the criminal justice system for the first 24-36 hours after arrest.

For more information and to view the project visit Urban Omnibus here

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The Location of Justice Map Published with Urban Omnibus

The Center for Spatial Research, with Urban Omnibus, has just published an interactive map that locates the diverse sites and institutions that comprise the New York City criminal justice system. The map is part of Urban Omnibus’s new series, The Location of Justice, which examines “the pervasive and often overlooked infrastructure of criminal justice in New York and the spaces that could serve a more just city.”

The map was built and designed by Laura Kurgan, Juan Saldarriaga, and Jochen Hartmann at the Center for Spatial Research based on data that was originally compiled by Emily Schmidt of the Architectural League. Additional research contributions were made by Olivia Schwob, Ayluonne Terieszkiewicz, Maya Tellman, and Nishant Jacob.

For more information and to view the map visit Urban Omnibus here

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Mapathon for Puerto Rico featured by PBS NewsHour
Corinne Segal for PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour features the mapathon organized by the Columbia's Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities and the Columbia Libraries with the assistance from CSR Researcher, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga and CSR steering committee member Manan Ahmed. Over sixty students, faculty, and staff gathered on Friday, September 29 to map the hardest hit rural areas of Puerto Rico using OpenStreetMap. 

Read the full article here

 

 

 

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Mapathon for Puerto Rico featured in New York Times
Photo credit: Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The New York Times features the mapathon organized by the Columbia's Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities and the Columbia Libraries with the support from CSR Researcher, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga and CSR steering committe member Manan Ahmed. Over sixty students, faculty, and staff gathered on Friday, September 29 to map the hardest hit rural areas of Puerto Rico using OpenStreetMap. 

Read the full article here

 

 

 

 

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Conflict Urbanism: InfraPolitics
This seminar focuses on infrastructure as a major force in shaping cities, as well as a medium through which the politics of urbanization is visible. 
   
Description

This seminar focuses on infrastructure as a major force in shaping cities, as well as a medium through which the politics of urbanization is visible. Our work will address historical comparison and the politics of mapping by focusing on three cities and three continents – Mumbai, Johannesburg and Medellin.

The cities have been chosen because they offer important ways to think about how infrastructure organizes social life, and its ongoing political effects. By exploring different histories of how space is governed, segregated, or utilized as a key economic resource, we want seminar participants to think about the significance of space and spatial regulation in structuring social relations.

Our work will be organized around a set of keywords: informality (Mumbai), apartheid (Johannesburg), and populism (Medellin)--that are entry points for thinking about the infrastructure of inequality. Each of the case studies uses a critical event as a point of entry for asking how land, capital, government, and the social relations of daily life structure, and are in turn structured by spatial order.

Visualizing and mapping thus form key techniques for linking urban history with contemporary urbanism, and for thinking about the materiality of spatial politics.

Note: This is the third in a series of multidisciplinary Mellon seminars on the topic of Conflict Urbanism, as part of a multi-university initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities.    

This year Conflict Urbanism is being offered in the Fall, and not in the Spring semester.

 
Project
Visualizing the Victims of the Colombian Conflict
person role
Author(s): 
Juan Francisco Saldarriaga
Publication date: 
Friday, March 10, 2017
Publication name, page number: 
Yuca
Description (optional): 
This article published by Yuca magazine describes the Conflict Urbanism: Colombia project. In it, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga describes how, having grown up in Colombia, working on this project has changed his understanding of the conflict. The article describes the maps, graphs, color pixels, and thickening lines that have shown the size and magnitude of the worst massacres, revealed the moments and events that caused stakeholders to change positions, and made evident the constant and painful journeys of the displaced and other victims.
Initiative: 
Intro text (homepage): 
This article published by Yuca magazine describes the Conflict Urbanism: Colombia project. In it, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga describes how, having grown up in Colombia, working on this project has changed his understanding of the conflict. The article describes the maps, graphs, color pixels, and thickening lines that have shown the size and magnitude of the worst massacres, revealed the moments and events that caused stakeholders to change positions, and made evident the constant and painful journeys of the displaced and other victims.
Lead image: 
Author Last Names for table: 
Saldarriaga
Publication short title (carousel): 
Visualizing the Victims of the Colombian Conflict
Is Website?: 
no
dashboard_sort_date: 
Friday, March 10, 2017
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Project
Conflict Urbanism, Aleppo: Mapping Urban Damage
person role
Author(s): 
Laura Kurgan
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Publication name, page number: 
AD / Architectural Design
Description (optional): 
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the planet, Aleppo now lies in tatters. This devastation of a designated World Heritage Site is a poignant example of the human and cultural cost of armed conflict – in this case the Syrian Civil War. The Center for Spatial Research has analyzed satellite imagery and reports from the ground to assess the damage in Aleppo. In this article, Laura Kurgan discusses the initiative and its sometimes puzzling findings.
Initiative: 
Intro text (homepage): 
In this article for Architectural Design, Laura Kurgan discusses the Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo project and its sometimes puzzling findings. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the planet, Aleppo now lies in tatters. This devastation of a designated World Heritage Site is a poignant example of the human and cultural cost of armed conflict – in this case the Syrian Civil War. The Center for Spatial Research has analyzed satellite imagery and reports from the ground to assess the damage in Aleppo.
Lead image: 
Author C4SR: 
Author Last Names for table: 
Kurgan
Publication short title (carousel): 
Conflict Urbanism, Aleppo: Mapping Urban Damage
Is Website?: 
no
dashboard_sort_date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2017
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