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Uncommon Ground

If the root verb of Territory is Terrare, a volatile landscape, then it is this neurology of exchanges and active agents that must be understood and operated within. By remapping the Faroe Islands historiography, it’s epigenitics1 that led to the chronotope, the designer gains a clearer idea of trends, relationships and the mechanics underpinning the archipelago in what Donna Harraway calls the “belly of the beast”, worlds for which ‘we’ are responsible.

This thesis pushes virtual realities, anticipating probable futures and applying their narrative to design within the present. In doing so this provides virtue and clairvoyance to the trundling architectural discipline – mans largest yet slowest technology. The project applies Immanuel Kant’s concept of “Reflective Judgement” to the context of the Anthropocene and what Timophy Morton refers to as the Hyperobject, while predicated on ecological and territorial premise’ outlined in James Corner’s The Agency of Mappings and Buckminster Fuller’s Spaceship Earth. The project anticipates the transition into post-carbon economy and seeks prudent methodologies for exchange with(in) it.

Since the new processes that mobilize and deploy exchange operate through, between, and over multiple sites and disciplines – to the point that urbanism, landscape, infrastructure, economics and information are inseperable in terms of their influence on the organisation of civic space (public realm) – they canot be solely defined through or against traditional design conventions, resulting in a difficulty in synthesizing their operations into a new articulation of public site(s). The plasticity of contemporary ecologies of exchange results in the relationship between public space and economy progressing from a site/object relationship to a more organisational one that exists “across” or between multiple sites of occupation; nodes within the chronotope. It is within this momentary conundrum – architectures deficiency to dcode, interpret, and synthesise the operations of contemporary fluid ecologies of exchange and its subsequent inability to strategise a territorial resolution across site rather than at site (singular) – that this project is located.

In light of economic decline and umbilical relationship upon Denmark it is probable that should the Faroe Islands find oil they would need to exploit it. It is then the duty of the thesis to anticipate this probable future and design to accommodate (re-calibrate) and ultimately respond to repercussions that await surrounding global warming.

Investigations into the oil industry and specifically the oil rig, the metaphorical monster outlined here, revealed two opposing forces regarding the transition away from oil. While sequested carbon may find geological housing within mined oil fields, the law states that abandoned and unoccupied rigs must be dismantled. Both scenarios are anticipated in both projects within the contexts of mass urbanisation and global warming. This thesis and both projects push a hypothetical future predicated on science and research. By crafting a future narrative the design may test conditions and responses to pending adversity, namely rapid urbanisation and global warming, as a consequence of technological exploitation.

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© Hayden White