Project Heracles #3 - Architecture - Domus
Project Heracles #3
 

Project Heracles #3

Continuing the series of guest-curated selections from Project Heracles, Saskia Sassen comments on her favorites among the hundreds that Domus received.

 

Architecture / Saskia Sassen

In May, inspired by an email exchange between philosophers Lieven De Cauter and Dieter Lesage, Domus invited readers to send in their ideas for possible ways to connect the European and African continents across the Strait of Gibraltar. The results range in scale—and feasibility—from a simple cablecar to a giant floating Mediterranean city, frequently questioning the troubled history of the relationship between the two continents. In a series of additional commentaries to Lieven and Dieter's selections, followed by entries selected by Geoff Manaugh, Saskia Sassen is the next of our guest curators to select her favorite entries out of the hundreds Domus received.

I have long thought that the Mediterranean should once again become a space rather than a wall. It once was a central space of interaction and making. Now it is a surveillance space. Most religions of the world are on the Mediterranean, vast numbers of different cultures, economies, societies—a world in a dense space. There is an infinite sadness rising from this sea ocean within which the last ten years alone saw over 10,000 women, men and children drown as they hoped for a better life. This need to go beyond the Mediterranean as wall and surveillance space and recover its connective tissue, then, guided me in selecting these five.

Postcard #7. [top image] Unusually, the visuals relate to the most modest navigators of the Mediterranean –migrants in search of a livelihood. And the complexity is in the water, invisible, beneath the surface. The opposite of the advertising mode—all surface and little depth.

Top: Fernand Braudel (Italy). Above: Geostrategic platform. Seeking for the encounter of problematics. Gabriel Esteban Duque, Juan Miguel Gomez, Maria Isabel González, Medellín (Colombia).

Top: Fernand Braudel (Italy). Above: Geostrategic platform. Seeking for the encounter of problematics. Gabriel Esteban Duque, Juan Miguel Gomez, Maria Isabel González, Medellín (Colombia).

Postcard #17. [above] Geostrategic platform—let a thousand flowers bloom…and constitute the Mediterranean as connective tissue, not a wall.

The shortest distance for wi-fi connection. Christian Chiamulera (Italy).

The shortest distance for wi-fi connection. Christian Chiamulera (Italy).

Postcard #11. "In-Silico is more efficient than In-Vivo." But no, what is great about your project is that it shows how in-silico is not enough to make that bridge: you need the people, the awkward set up for the machines, and you need the edges of the Mediterranean North and South…that is what is what I like here.

 
There is an infinite sadness rising from this sea ocean within which the last ten years alone saw over 10,000 women, men and children drown as they hoped for a better life.
 
Building mental bridges. Werner Pfeffer, Linz (Austria).

Building mental bridges. Werner Pfeffer, Linz (Austria).

Postcard #42. [above] Mental bridges combined with the geographic nodes that are so real—Tarifa, Tangiers. And let Natalia Ribas-Mateo's Tangiers narrate it all.

Postcard #45. [below] Can we hack it all?...and then make the bridge.

Gibraltar watch. Demilitarizing the chokepoint. Deborah Natsios & John Young Architects, Cryptome.org (USA).

Gibraltar watch. Demilitarizing the chokepoint. Deborah Natsios & John Young Architects, Cryptome.org (USA).

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. She has written for the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, and Newsweek International, among others, and contributes regularly to OpenDemocracy.net and Huffington Post. Her newest books include Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press, 2008) and A Sociology of Globalization (W.W. Norton, 2007).

Project Heracles: A Eurafrican bridge
 

Project Heracles: A Eurafrican bridge

In an epistolary exchange, two European philosophers discuss an imaginary but possible infrastructure—a bridge linking Gibraltar and Ceuta that would eliminate the huge political, economic and geographical gap between Africa and Europe.

 

Architecture / Dieter Lesage,Lieven De Cauter

The NEMO Project
 

The NEMO Project

Reviving a typology with a dark past, two architects propose a subversive new endeavour to address, and critique, the European immigration controversy.

 

Architecture / Alan Rapp

An open letter to the President of the European Council

After surveying proposals for a Eurafrican bridge, a plea to marshal the Heraclean effort to complete the last great juncture between earth's landmasses.

 

Op-ed / Joseph Grima

200... Ideas to Connect Two Continents
 

200... Ideas to Connect Two Continents

An exhibition at London's Gopher Hole gallery on the results of Project Heracles opens on July 21

 

Past-events

Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO
 

Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO

Bjarke Ingels/BIG contributes designs for new EU and African currencies for an exhibition of proposals for a Eurafrican Bridge at London's The Gopher Hole.

 

News

Project Heracles #2
 

Project Heracles #2

Geoff Manaugh initiates a series of guest-curated proposals for Project Heracles, selecting the most intriguing projects among the hundreds received.

 

Architecture / Geoff Manaugh

Living in the Endless City
 

Living in the Endless City

The companion book to 2008's The Endless City collects essays and analysis on the cities of Istanbul, Mumbai, and São Paulo.

 

Reviews / Lucy Bullivant

Project Heracles #4
 

Project Heracles #4

In the ongoing series of guest-curated entries from Project Heracles, Bruce Sterling selects his favorites.

 

Architecture / Bruce Sterling

Saskia Sassen at the BMW Guggenheim Lab
 

Saskia Sassen at the BMW Guggenheim Lab

As first phase of intelligent cities is implemented, how do notions of comfort and security play out in the dialogue with our urban context?

 

News

Project Heracles #5
 

Project Heracles #5

In the ongoing series of guest-curated entries from Project Heracles, Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt detail their submission, which creates a radical new spur off London's tube network.

 

Architecture / Asif Khan + Pernilla Ohrstedt

Project Heracles #6
 

Project Heracles #6

Our series of curated sets of the submissions continues with guest-editor Elisa Poli.

 

Architecture / Elisa Poli

Project Heracles #7
 

Project Heracles #7

The Mediterranean Sea represents an ocean of differences for the people who overlook it. For the next installment of Heracles, Carson Chan reads and responds to the postcard entries.

 

Architecture / Carson Chan

Project Heracles #8
 

Project Heracles #8

In the next installment of guest-curated selections for Project Heracles, Salvatore D'Agostino considers places of encounter and exchange.

 

Architecture / Salvatore D'Agostino

Project Heracles #9
 

Project Heracles #9

Among the postcards received for Project Heracles, Matteo Costanzo [2A + P/A] has selected those which represent the most basic aspect of crossing a border.

 

Architecture / Matteo Costanzo

Project Heracles #10
 

Project Heracles #10

The postcard entries chosen by architecture curator Pippo Ciorra reflect on the mare nostrum theme of the project.

 

Architecture / Pippo Ciorra

The challenges of our time in the city
 

The challenges of our time in the city

Some reflections with sociologist Saskia Sassen on the increasing political agency of urban space in global cities and the decline of the nation-state.

 

Interviews / Claudia Faraone

Project Heracles #14
 

Project Heracles #14

The selections by Marco Brizzi drift toward projects bearing less architectural, but not simplistic nor naïve, visions.

 

Architecture / Marco Brizzi