WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN: A Prefab Solution of Border Walls for Social Encounters
In the contemporary post-globalized and transmodern world, in which space is structured by extrastatecraft, trade and more vitally, cultural openness, the idea of the national border as a cautionary space is obsolete. At the same time, paradoxically some nations are responding to social and financial uncertainty through demagogic political statements encouraging exclusivity and promoting the construction of physical borders in this globalized and virtually connected world. The nation-state, an imagined community from its very inception homogenized plural existence and is one of modernity’s crumbling failure. For a cosmopolitan future where peaceful coexistence is to be the norm, empathy must become the mandatory lens. Rather than a line that divides, the border must be reconceptualized as a place of social enrichment with the other, an osmotic frontier for a cultural and emotional exchange. What is the role of critical design in this?
We propose a prefabricated concrete modules for border walls that will be mass produced and exported all over the world wherever there is border conflict. The pieces, will have the requested condition for a border—it will separate people from both sides (only physically)—but it will encourage all kind of non-material exchange (services, knowledge, stories, games…) through curious juxtapositions of the programs. The idea will be developed through making artefacts (models of the prefab wall solutions)—coalesced into a catalogue of the different pieces that could be assembled as the context demands for the formation of the border, and yet perversely negate its very existence.
We welcome you to Bordertown, the seed of a new city where mutual curiosity and understanding will be able to overcome political, social or economic barriers.
Estudio Abierto / Open Studio has been selected to present the project called WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN: A PREFAB SOLUTION OF BORDER WALLS FOR SOCIAL ENCOUNTERS at the Beirut Design Week 2017 to be held on May 19-26 in Beirut, Lebanon. Established in 2012, Beirut Design Week is the largest growing design festival in the Middle East & North Africa.
In addition to presenting the project, Paco Mejias and I, will be conducting a workshop titled "Designing Borders (!)" at the Beirut Design Week 2017 which will be open to all students in design disciplines.