May 28, 2016 - Nov 28, 2016


Republic of Cyprus - Biennale Architettura 2016

Contested Fronts - Commoning Practices for Conflict Transformation

Counter Mapping
“Counter-mapping” involves the practice of mapping as means of problematization for the civil society to question dominant divisive mental geographies. It involves cartographic processes that allow new viewpoints of common concern, by formulating new questions in regard to the imbedded status quo of division.
Hands-on Famagusta counter-mapped technologies
The “Hands-on Famagusta” project’s counter-mapped ad-hoc technologies are about large size printed isometric drawings of the city’s fragmented territory, a transportable physical city model and board games. They are all used to encourage the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Famagustians to go beyond their split mental maps by firstly becoming aware of a severely fragmented urban environment and secondly by having the chance to see for the first time their city territory represented as a continuum of extensive landscapes consisting of built and non-built areas. The processes of cartographic documentation as well as that of creating and using the material agents have created collectives consisting of members coming from areas across the Cypriot divide.
“Build-up” is a social enterprise active at the intersection of technology, civic engagement, and peace-building. They support grassroots innovation, they foster collaboration and have a strong, grounded understanding of peace-building. They have run programs on the ground in conflict and post-conflict countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They facilitate research, design, and implementation of technological tools and methodologies in participatory processes around peace-building, conflict prevention, and civic engagement. Participatory design and empowerment through engagement in social change are at the core of their approach. With experience in local governments and policy-making institutions, they help navigate the pathways by which citizens and organizations can effect change. They work collaboratively with changemakers to integrate multiple voices, find strategic entry points, and overcome challenges to organizing for social change.
Archis Interventions Southeastern Europe Network
The aim of Archis Interventions, a community-based, non-profit offshoot of Archis is to support cities by supplying ideas and concepts that will help to revitalize public space and renew faith in public dialogue. Main focus of the work of Archis Interventions is post-conflict planning. Local partners play the main roles in the process, since they are the ones requesting intervention in the development of their city ( The activities of Archis Interventions in southeastern Europe began in 2005, when Kai Vöckler and his Kosovar colleagues founded a local branch in Prishtina (Archis Interventions/Prishtina). A network of independent urban initiatives and organizations in southeastern Europe was launched in 2008 by Kai Vöckler, in cooperation with Srdjan Jovanović Weiss. In almost all large cities in southeastern Europe, there exist independent urban initiatives that use their expert knowledge and experience to defend the interests of civic stakeholders. Such initiatives often work in isolation from one another or have only limited opportunities to participate in international urban discourse on new urban development, and planning methods and concepts. The aim of the Archis Interventions SEE network is to network regionally, develop international cooperation projects, share past experience, transfer relevant knowledge, and, last but not least, strengthen local initiatives by embedding them in supra-regional networks. 
Introducing Urban Controversies
“Introducing Urban Controversies” has to do with the unfolding of the positive aspect of conflict within the making of the architectural and urban projects where the urban actors are in constant re-alliance and dispute. Disputing matters, in regards to the role of the commons during post-conflict reconstruction or urban regeneration could be well structured, creating arenas of creative confrontation amongst urban actors with divergent agendas. Urban actors across divides would have the possibility to re-ally beyond their ethnic identity or social status. Emerging collectives of heterogeneous actors could be the protagonists in transforming ethnic and social conflicts. Then, we could go beyond of peacebuilding as neutralizing agent of conflict and of urban regeneration as gentrification agent.
Hands-on Famagusta ad-hoc technologies for urban controversies
The “Hands-on Famagusta” project’s ad-hoc technology for urban controversiesisa web-platformconsisting of three pools of designerly knowledge about controversial questions in regards to the role of the city’s commons during post conflict urban reconstruction, (Actors and Agendas, Other Cities, Urban Design Projects). The web-platform operation is supported by a series of board games that transform the controversial questions into playful negotiations and re-alliances amongst the game players. The pool of “Actors and Agendas”is formulated during off-line activities such as roundtable workshops and consultation meetings between the “Hands-on Famagusta” project team and Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot Famagustians. The pool of “Other Cities”showsconcrete examples from other urban areas relevant to the Famagusta’s controversial questions. The pool of “Urban Design Projects” consists of students’ projects about Famagusta’s future produced by the Urban Design Studio of the University of Cyprus (part of L.U2.CY’s activities) and by the School of Architecture, KTH, Stockholm. The same pool includes also Urban Design references that are inscribed in the creation of the city’s commons. 
City Reparo
City Reparo is a multidisciplinary consultancy working with the social, public and private sectors on city transformations in the built environment. It is a social enterprise comprising a range of practitioners from architectural, urban design, planning and social science backgrounds. A primary focus of City Reparo is urban structure and, more particularly, how the form and layout of cities affect the everyday experience and life chances of local communities. In the context of contested urban space, City Reparo advances the Jane Jacobs notion that the city should be everyone’s neighborhood.
Mapping Architectural Controversies
Mapping Architectural Controversies (MAC) is an interactive website dedicated to students and researchers working on controversies surrounding design projects, buildings, master plans, and urban and development issues. Documenting and visualizing recent controversies in architecture, it also aims to address a broader audience interested in the design of cities, spatial networks and built environments as well as planners, representatives of city government, NGOs and citizens. Originally based on the EU-funded project MACOSPOL, Mapping Architectural Controversies draws on a variety of documental sources and visual methods to explore the multifarious connections of architecture and society. Mapping Controversies comprises a research method, a teaching philosophy and a way to approach public debates. The platform serves as a database on controversies related to a variety of topics from Science, Technology, Innovation, Design and Urban Planning, provides tutorial guidance to the Mapping Controversies teaching and learning methods and their relevance to architectural studies, and showcases some initiatives in enhancing the public understanding of controversies. Why Controversies? Nowadays, we are confronted more and more with uncertain architectural knowledge concerning the latest innovations in engineering and building construction together with the changing demands of clients and communities. This causes us to become embroiled in various controversies surrounding architecture and urban design, which reshuffle the multifarious connections between architecture and society. City Reparo advances the Jane Jacobs notion that the city should be everyone’s neighborhood.
Creating Thresholds
“Creating Thresholds” is about practices of exchange across edges, transforming limits to porous borders, instigating for the opening up of territories of exclusion to the city’s commons- services and programs, transport infrastructures and networks, physical spaces. It is about strategic and tactful actions that introduce spaces of exchange, based on transformative themes for urban regeneration and hands-on actions for reconciliation.
Hands-on Famagusta ad-hoc technologies for creating thresholds
The “Hands-on Famagusta” project’s ad-hoc technologies for creating thresholds are: Four transformative themes incubated in a summer workshop in Nicosia. They are the motor of the “Hands-on Famagusta” project team to make explicit the need to common urban imaginaries beyond the ethnically contested city. They are about: 1. sharing infrastructures, 2. creating a wide public waterfront, 3. turning the future of the ecological and cultural assets of the city into a common concern, 4. resisting the absence of the city’s commons during the extraordinary conditions of post conflict reconstruction processes. 
Urban Pedagogies
What if territories of exclusion open up to the city's commons through practices of exchange?
A matrix of disenclaving 
The disenclaving approach is about strategies that on the one hand introduce the city’s commons into urban enclaves and on the other hand, embed reconciliation processes deep into potential reconstruction ones.They are both introduced in the pedagogical approach of the Urban Design Studio at the Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus. The disenclaving approach is about strategies that on the one hand introduce the city’s commons into urban enclaves and on the other hand, embed reconciliation processes deep into potential reconstruction ones.They are both introduced in the pedagogical approach of the Urban Design Studio at theDepartment of Architecture, University of Cyprus 
With the launch of the international and multi-partner Passages program, aimed at professionals and the general public alike, City on the Move is seeking to emphasize the role of passages as essential links in our journeys around the city. For two years (2014-2015), a network of international experts works to develop research and scientific, cultural and artistic events on this theme. Given that passages have always been present in our cities in different forms, why today in particular? How do we do full justice to these essential and yet often neglected connections? What are the potential avenues for development and innovation available to these small mobility spaces? As an interdisciplinary IVM action-research project, the Passages program includes the implementation of real innovative demonstration passages in different cities around the world.  
Institute of Threshold: Border Infrastructures
It is a process of long engagement of a fictional institute of border infrastructures that will serve to archive and connect rhizomatically with the current conditions of conflict territories and related practices.What will happen if the border is removed, not existing anymore? Or, is already borders a liquid and fluid zone? What could be the autonomous infrastructure of conflict zones? The Institute of Threshold proposal is about reactivating these questions in order to create a speculative realist approach of the function and spatial contradictions of border infrastructure. Cyprus as a contested borderland in the Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by refugee/migrant flow, civil war, sea patrols and liquid military control. As a starting point, the Institute of Threshold provides questions of conditions covering the mapping and constellation of surrounding zones and passing corridors in east Mediterranean. Urban warfare, destroyed and curfews siege town, border crossings and nomadic dwelling points out the era of post-human condition. We want to articulate with ongoing cases of conceptual framework of decay, autonomy, infrastructure, decolonization and forms of non-belonging. 
Curator Socrates Stratis
Credits: Story

Curator: Socrates Stratis

“The Hands-on Famagusta” project by “AA&U for Architecture, Art and Urbanism”, “Imaginary Famagusta”, “Laboratory of Urbanism University of Cyprus”, (L.U2.CY). International participants: “Archis Interventions SEE”, “Build Up”, “ City Reparo”, “Institute of Threshold”, “Mapping Controversies”, “Passages”.

“AA&U For Architecture Art and Urbanism”, “Imaginary Famagusta”, “Laboratory of Urbanism, University of Cyprus” -“L.U2.CY”: Angeliki Koutsodimitropoulou-architect-visual communication designer, Chrysanthe Constantinou-architect, urban designer, Emre Akbil-architect, Senior Lecturer, Esra Can Akbil-architect, Senior Instructor, Maria Loizidou, visual artist, Munevver Ozgur-architect, Assistant Professor. Andreas Petrou-light design, Marina Constantinidou-film footage, Light Black-web development, Studio Folder-graphic design.
Support: Lara Anna Scharf, Eleftheria Xerou, Bertug Ozarisoy, Nasia Pantelidou, Antigoni Chrysostomou, Cansu Denizhan, Anastasia Demetriou, Eleni Nicolaou, Elena Kapakiotou
Technical Support: Yiorgos Vesiaris, (laser cutting, University of Cyprus), Marinos Kleanthous-metal structures

“The Hands-on Famagusta” project
“AA&U for Architecture, Art and Urbanism”, “Imaginary Famagusta”, “Laboratory of Urbanism University of Cyprus”, (L.U2.CY), Cyprus: Socrates Stratis, Emre Akbil, Chrysanthe Constantinou, Esra Can Akbil, Maria Loizidou, Angeliki Koutsodimitropoulou, Munevver Ozgur Ozersay.
For a detailed list of the contributors to the “Hands-on Famagusta” project, see
Students’ projects of the Laboratory of Urbanism, University of Cyprus, (L.U2.CY):
Encouraging Urbanity Game Projects, (E.U. 08 Game): Paola Franco, Laura Moral, Pablo Palomares, Pany Valtoudi, Andria Georgiou, Ioanna Demetriou, Evdokia Kyriakidou, Eva Constantinou, Stavroula Michael, Anna Panayiotou, Erasmia Papallou, Anastasia Prodromou, Louiza Tsiarlistou, Rafaella Christophi, Eleni Koufopavlou, Elpida Kyriakou, Andreas Mpirros, Eleni Nicolaou, Leandros Panousopoulos, Lenia Pachi, LaouraTzourrou, Sofia Christodoulou.
Urban Design Projects:
(Winter Semester 2014-15. Tutors: Socrates Stratis, Chrysanthe Constantinou): Paola Antoniou, Soteris Yiasemi, Anastasia Demetriou, Frantzescos Zarou, Maria Ioannou, Elena Kapakiotou, Constantinos Katsambas, Elpida Kyriakou, Zacharoula Loizou, Andreas Mpirros, Iasonas Nicolaou, Eleftheria Xerou, Entita Orpanidou, Nasia Pantelidou, Heraklis Papaerakleous, Michaela Paschali, Elena Pavlou, Ioanna Petrou, Eleni Pratsi, Agamemnon Savvides, Lara Anna Scharf, Sophia Stylianou, Laoura Tziourrou, Photios Telemachou, Styliana Charitou, Gianna Christodoulou, Sophi Christodoulou, Stefanos Christoforou, Antigoni Chrysostomou.
(Winter Semester 2012-13. Tutors: Socrates Stratis, Christos Papastergiou): Adamos Adamou, Maria Theodoulou, Stephanie Cleovoulou, Demetra Patsia, /Athanasia Agapiou , Nikoletta Andreou, Christina Palochi, Giorgos Charalambous,/ Timotheos Alexi, Andronikos Kallis, Andrea Spyrou, Stavros Frangogiannopoulos/ A. Leontiou, K. Panteli, E. Hadjipetrou, D. Hadjiyiangou /Androniki Irodotou, Georgia Papasozomenou, Elena Pavlou, Maria Sophokleous

International Networks, Practices and Pedagogical Programs:
“Archis Interventions SEE”, Netherlands: Kai Volcker and collaborators
“Build Up”, Barcelona, Spain: Rodrigo Davies, Michaela Ledesma, Helena Puig Larrauri, Jennifer Gaskell
“Mapping Controversies”, UK: Albena Yaneva
“City Reparo”, Northern Ireland, UK: Mark Hacket, Ken Sterret
“Institute of Threshold”, Turkey, Italy: Pelin Tan, Joseph Grima
“Passages”, France: Overall coordination: Marcel Smets- Scientific Director, Yuna Conan - Project Manager, Mireille Apel-Muller- Chief Executive of IVM Steering Committee: Pascal Amphoux, Mireille Apel-Muller, Yuna Conan, Carles Llop, Jean-Pierre Orfeuil, Laetitia Piccinini, Didier Rebois, Marcel Smets, Maarten Van Acker

Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Cyprus with Cyprus Architects Association

Credits: All media
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