COMMUNICATING COMMUNITIES

Venice

 
 
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PRESENTATION DAY A couple of hours before the jury members walk in. The students are cleaning the exhibition spaces, testing the videos on their television screens, light bulbs are wiped clean for optimum exposure. The weeks of hard work are paying off. The students are drilled for perfection and proud to show their work.

PRESENTATION DAY

A couple of hours before the jury members walk in. The students are cleaning the exhibition spaces, testing the videos on their television screens, light bulbs are wiped clean for optimum exposure. The weeks of hard work are paying off. The students are drilled for perfection and proud to show their work.

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Preparing the final presentation Maarten: "Still looking like a refugee camp!" 

Preparing the final presentation

Maarten: "Still looking like a refugee camp!" 

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Victoria:"Hope.Independance.Memory.Positivity.Beauty.Gratitude. Love. Brotherhood. dreams. Nothing. This was the explosion of words I got from the students who are following the workshop that VMX Architects is organizing in Venice. A strong exercise of empathy, highly necessary for architects to deal with this topic.A pro-positive approach, an exercise of humanity, an effort to be honest. To rebuild a city you have to start understanding the society, with its emotions, feelings, fears, desires, memories and customs. Rebuilding and recovering them with the chance of change that a new start offers. Recreating community with positivism".

Victoria:"Hope.Independance.Memory.Positivity.Beauty.Gratitude. Love. Brotherhood. dreams. Nothing. This was the explosion of words I got from the students who are following the workshop that VMX Architects is organizing in Venice. A strong exercise of empathy, highly necessary for architects to deal with this topic.A pro-positive approach, an exercise of humanity, an effort to be honest. To rebuild a city you have to start understanding the society, with its emotions, feelings, fears, desires, memories and customs. Rebuilding and recovering them with the chance of change that a new start offers. Recreating community with positivism".

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Magda from Chile: "When I arrived first day to Venice from Chile to follow the workshop of VMX Architects I had a strange first impression, being very excited about the idea of studying a topic that is abandoned by the world. Refugees who are running from one place to another searching for an identity, a piece of earth where they could be welcome and grow with dignity. As a person that comes from the occidental world, even if I have information about the war from the media I could not understand honestly the feelings of a refugee on my own skin. This experience in Venice with the help VMX Architects gave me the opportunity to work in this course with different people, cultures, talking in different languages, accents and experimenting basic things like new ways to greet, giving hands, kisses or just words. These experiences shaped unconsciously real feelings of being an 'immigrant'. Also I had the opportunity to meet refugees, architecture students from Palestine and Syria of our age who were forced to grow rapidly. Now I understand much better the emotions and feelings of a refugee and I can be a small piece in the large puzzle of (re)building together."

Magda from Chile: "When I arrived first day to Venice from Chile to follow the workshop of VMX Architects I had a strange first impression, being very excited about the idea of studying a topic that is abandoned by the world. Refugees who are running from one place to another searching for an identity, a piece of earth where they could be welcome and grow with dignity. As a person that comes from the occidental world, even if I have information about the war from the media I could not understand honestly the feelings of a refugee on my own skin. This experience in Venice with the help VMX Architects gave me the opportunity to work in this course with different people, cultures, talking in different languages, accents and experimenting basic things like new ways to greet, giving hands, kisses or just words. These experiences shaped unconsciously real feelings of being an 'immigrant'. Also I had the opportunity to meet refugees, architecture students from Palestine and Syria of our age who were forced to grow rapidly. Now I understand much better the emotions and feelings of a refugee and I can be a small piece in the large puzzle of (re)building together."

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
 "The students are hidden behind their laptops, buried under tracing paper and piles of sketches. With two days to go, production is running at full speed. As new fresh minds, we, Sven and Salah joined the Workshop in Venice to support the students. Do we understand their concepts by just having a glimps at their posters without having them to explain it? We were surprised by the amount of energy and work that has been done."

 "The students are hidden behind their laptops, buried under tracing paper and piles of sketches. With two days to go, production is running at full speed. As new fresh minds, we, Sven and Salah joined the Workshop in Venice to support the students. Do we understand their concepts by just having a glimps at their posters without having them to explain it? We were surprised by the amount of energy and work that has been done."

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Romieri Vittorio: "May Experience with VMX Architects"  "From 26 June until 14 July 2017 , students both from IUAV university and the rest of the world had the opportunity to approach with an interesting and difficult thematic , THE RECONSTRUCTION OF SYRIA. 25 groups , more or less 1400 students and 100 architects and a common goal : try to find the best way to valorize the damaged Syrian ground , to give the refugees a “second life”. Someone worked on the symbols , other on the cities and on the self personification in a refugee. Exactly from this theme starts the VMX’s project of reconstruction of Damascus : Don Murphy asked us to personify ourself in a Syrian refugee and try to think what will be useful to escape and survive against the death. What or who would we bring with us if we have to leave immediately our houses ? And from what would we restart if we come back to Syria ? Everyone of the 70 people of this groups has different and common answers ( my iPhone, my cigars, my headphones, my money, my memory box and so on…) but they changed with the passing of the three weeks, as we had the time to do some researches and most of all to talk with two Syrian girls, telling us their experience both in Syria and abroad. All useful things not only for the project, but also to understand a different reality of our time."

Romieri Vittorio: "May Experience with VMX Architects" 

"From 26 June until 14 July 2017 , students both from IUAV university and the rest of the world had the opportunity to approach with an interesting and difficult thematic , THE RECONSTRUCTION OF SYRIA. 25 groups , more or less 1400 students and 100 architects and a common goal : try to find the best way to valorize the damaged Syrian ground , to give the refugees a “second life”. Someone worked on the symbols , other on the cities and on the self personification in a refugee. Exactly from this theme starts the VMX’s project of reconstruction of Damascus : Don Murphy asked us to personify ourself in a Syrian refugee and try to think what will be useful to escape and survive against the death. What or who would we bring with us if we have to leave immediately our houses ? And from what would we restart if we come back to Syria ? Everyone of the 70 people of this groups has different and common answers ( my iPhone, my cigars, my headphones, my money, my memory box and so on…) but they changed with the passing of the three weeks, as we had the time to do some researches and most of all to talk with two Syrian girls, telling us their experience both in Syria and abroad. All useful things not only for the project, but also to understand a different reality of our time."

The Project A NEW HOPE…"this is the title and the start point of our project. All the groups had to deal with a specific zone of Al-Mezzeh, a district of Damascus. My group was composed by 8 guys, and we had an argue mission…Darayya, that means “home”, is the most damaged site of Damascus, immediately below the Military Airport of Al- Mezzeh. The north part of the city was bombed in 2012, in order to create a no man’s zone near the military zone..TABULA RASA. The south part was evacuated by the inhabitants cause of the heavy bombardments. This situation ends with the spontaneous creation of a buffer zone, full of unexploded bombs, ruins and toxins, and a ghost town, abandoned as it was and is the same still today. Our goal is to relive this ghost town, thinking about the things a young refugee wants to find in his/her new city, starting always from the symbol of HOME, and spreading like a brain storming, and how could we reuse this buffer zone, that will become a vaste piece of nature but untouchable for the next 10-15 years. It’s a “never-finished” project : people will come back, and start to rebuilt not only buildings, but a whole community, full of HOPE." "I would never have thought that this workshop experience would be so useful, in all its different faces, human and architectural. I learned a lot but is never enough, so i decided to ask Don Murphy, the director of VMX studio, if it is possible to join the studio for a stage. What is the most important thing i take from this workshop ? See that behind this job there is not only the design part, but most of all there is a deep research of What, Why, Who and How to really understand the meaning of the project."

The Project

A NEW HOPE…"this is the title and the start point of our project. All the groups had to deal with a specific zone of Al-Mezzeh, a district of Damascus. My group was composed by 8 guys, and we had an argue mission…Darayya, that means “home”, is the most damaged site of Damascus, immediately below the Military Airport of Al- Mezzeh. The north part of the city was bombed in 2012, in order to create a no man’s zone near the military zone..TABULA RASA. The south part was evacuated by the inhabitants cause of the heavy bombardments. This situation ends with the spontaneous creation of a buffer zone, full of unexploded bombs, ruins and toxins, and a ghost town, abandoned as it was and is the same still today. Our goal is to relive this ghost town, thinking about the things a young refugee wants to find in his/her new city, starting always from the symbol of HOME, and spreading like a brain storming, and how could we reuse this buffer zone, that will become a vaste piece of nature but untouchable for the next 10-15 years. It’s a “never-finished” project : people will come back, and start to rebuilt not only buildings, but a whole community, full of HOPE."

"I would never have thought that this workshop experience would be so useful, in all its different faces, human and architectural. I learned a lot but is never enough, so i decided to ask Don Murphy, the director of VMX studio, if it is possible to join the studio for a stage. What is the most important thing i take from this workshop ? See that behind this job there is not only the design part, but most of all there is a deep research of What, Why, Who and How to really understand the meaning of the project."

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
San Marco, 5:30 AM Simone: "Because of the workshop, I only could visit the city in the weekend. I was walking through the “calli” and “campi”, crossing the canals that have made this place unique in the world. Venice is a beautiful city, but this is likely to become the main cause of its ruin." "Each year about 30 million tourists pour into the city, 83 thousand per day, 140 thousand during the summer. This is the most visited period of the year, between Biennale, great shows and the approaching Redentore. This is amazing, if you think about the size and the fragile balance of this place between the inhabitants, students and the tourists. The students prefer to go home for the weekend or even commute continually between home and university, because of the high prices of rents and the prices of the Venetian life. It seems that The city prefers to continue to feed on the sale of unnecessary souvenirs and other rubbish objects rather than ideas of this precious resource." "Nevertheless, There are still small peaceful moments, where you can enjoy the city in all of its beauty."

San Marco, 5:30 AM

Simone: "Because of the workshop, I only could visit the city in the weekend. I was walking through the “calli” and “campi”, crossing the canals that have made this place unique in the world. Venice is a beautiful city, but this is likely to become the main cause of its ruin."

"Each year about 30 million tourists pour into the city, 83 thousand per day, 140 thousand during the summer. This is the most visited period of the year, between Biennale, great shows and the approaching Redentore. This is amazing, if you think about the size and the fragile balance of this place between the inhabitants, students and the tourists. The students prefer to go home for the weekend or even commute continually between home and university, because of the high prices of rents and the prices of the Venetian life. It seems that The city prefers to continue to feed on the sale of unnecessary souvenirs and other rubbish objects rather than ideas of this precious resource."

"Nevertheless, There are still small peaceful moments, where you can enjoy the city in all of its beauty."

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
FIRST WEEK: Developing an understanding (Re) building starts with understanding. The media provides us, in the west, with much information on the conflict in Syria. Television, interviews, documentaries, pictures, social media; but what do we really know? How does the war, in all its dimensions, influence the people of Syria? As individuals and as a community. To come closer to a real understanding we have to look ourselves in the eyes. Stand in front of the mirror, and try develop an understanding on the emotional and personal level. What would we take when we would be forced to flee our home? What do our loved ones (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends) take? And how is that for the Syrian people that had, and still have, to deal with the reality of conflict? Are we different? Imagine your own city is demolished, would you go, or stay? What is it that you value so much that you will continue living for to get it back? Family, dignity, individuality, love, work, pride, memory. It is these values that should be at the core of (re) building a community.  Understanding these values was the starting point of our workshop at IUAV, and will therefore also be the starting point of the exhibition the students are preparing this week. In the next days we will share with you the other elements of our exhibition. 

FIRST WEEK: Developing an understanding

(Re) building starts with understanding. The media provides us, in the west, with much information on the conflict in Syria. Television, interviews, documentaries, pictures, social media; but what do we really know? How does the war, in all its dimensions, influence the people of Syria? As individuals and as a community. To come closer to a real understanding we have to look ourselves in the eyes. Stand in front of the mirror, and try develop an understanding on the emotional and personal level. What would we take when we would be forced to flee our home? What do our loved ones (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends) take? And how is that for the Syrian people that had, and still have, to deal with the reality of conflict? Are we different? Imagine your own city is demolished, would you go, or stay? What is it that you value so much that you will continue living for to get it back? Family, dignity, individuality, love, work, pride, memory. It is these values that should be at the core of (re) building a community. 

Understanding these values was the starting point of our workshop at IUAV, and will therefore also be the starting point of the exhibition the students are preparing this week. In the next days we will share with you the other elements of our exhibition. 

 
Shaya FallahiComment
Sunday in Punte Della Dogana Job: "Sometimes you have these moments that reminds you why you went studying architecture again. This weekend in Venice I experienced this when visiting an exhibition in Punte Della Dogana, a true  Tadao Ando masterpiece. The building, an old salt storage at the tip of the southern part of Venice, shows nothing of its content to the outside. Just another renaissance nature stone building with high windows. Nothing special for venetian standards. However when entering you see the true conflict the city has, the old storages in all their roughness, the scars made by users of the past are still visible everywhere. Tadao Ando made the choice to react on it with simplicity. The building tells its story and Ando guides you true. The way how he leaves everything clean to let the smallest details make the strongest gestures is brilliant. We photographed one line in his very subtle architecture that leads from present to the past. He guides the visitor from old to new and vice versa, could be an approach way of rebuilding conflict zones on a city scale."

Sunday in Punte Della Dogana

Job: "Sometimes you have these moments that reminds you why you went studying architecture again. This weekend in Venice I experienced this when visiting an exhibition in Punte Della Dogana, a true  Tadao Ando masterpiece. The building, an old salt storage at the tip of the southern part of Venice, shows nothing of its content to the outside. Just another renaissance nature stone building with high windows. Nothing special for venetian standards. However when entering you see the true conflict the city has, the old storages in all their roughness, the scars made by users of the past are still visible everywhere. Tadao Ando made the choice to react on it with simplicity. The building tells its story and Ando guides you true. The way how he leaves everything clean to let the smallest details make the strongest gestures is brilliant. We photographed one line in his very subtle architecture that leads from present to the past. He guides the visitor from old to new and vice versa, could be an approach way of rebuilding conflict zones on a city scale."

Shaya FallahiComment
 
What. Why. How Simone: "The workshop keeps going, and it is a strange feeling for me to be back in this place so shortly after having left and on the other side of the table. This morning  each group presented their own concepts to the classroom, after having spent almost two weeks analysing and comparing the site. This long analysis allowed them to approach the issue from a personal perspective and to interpretateit in their  own way. 8 groups, 8 projects, 8 themes and 8 different ways of representing them. As a former student of this university, I immediately realized the initial difficulties of dealing with this new approach to architecture, far from academic reality, often theoretical and focused on formal aspects. The final show is approaching, there is still a lot of work to do, but the students have taken the right direction." Bene, ma non benissimo!

What. Why. How

Simone: "The workshop keeps going, and it is a strange feeling for me to be back in this place so shortly after having left and on the other side of the table. This morning  each group presented their own concepts to the classroom, after having spent almost two weeks analysing and comparing the site. This long analysis allowed them to approach the issue from a personal perspective and to interpretateit in their  own way. 8 groups, 8 projects, 8 themes and 8 different ways of representing them. As a former student of this university, I immediately realized the initial difficulties of dealing with this new approach to architecture, far from academic reality, often theoretical and focused on formal aspects. The final show is approaching, there is still a lot of work to do, but the students have taken the right direction."

Bene, ma non benissimo!

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Venice like (almost) a local Maria, Simone and Job form VMX Architects joined the team: "After arriving in Venice Wednesday night, Simone, Job and I were ready to join the workshop on Thursday. I think we are very lucky to have Simone in our team, he is a former student at the university of Venice so we are experiencing the city as if we were locals almost! It also felt really nice to be back in the university atmosphere, it made me realize I even miss my student life a little!" "As regards the workshop itself I was pretty impressed by how deep into the topic the students are, they are becoming real Mezzeh experts. It was really interesting to go around the groups and seeing the diversity of the projects and also the different ways the students chose to present them. This is probably the result of having a very diverse group, different nationalities bring different backgrounds that lead to a different approach on the subject. They are very enthusiastic and committed on their tasks so we were able to go around the groups many times during the day seeing a lot of progress being done. We also introduced the final project, a movie, each group will have to make one to present their project and I'm pretty sure those will be very interesting and diverse as well. Can't wait to see them!"

Venice like (almost) a local

Maria, Simone and Job form VMX Architects joined the team: "After arriving in Venice Wednesday night, Simone, Job and I were ready to join the workshop on Thursday. I think we are very lucky to have Simone in our team, he is a former student at the university of Venice so we are experiencing the city as if we were locals almost! It also felt really nice to be back in the university atmosphere, it made me realize I even miss my student life a little!"

"As regards the workshop itself I was pretty impressed by how deep into the topic the students are, they are becoming real Mezzeh experts. It was really interesting to go around the groups and seeing the diversity of the projects and also the different ways the students chose to present them. This is probably the result of having a very diverse group, different nationalities bring different backgrounds that lead to a different approach on the subject. They are very enthusiastic and committed on their tasks so we were able to go around the groups many times during the day seeing a lot of progress being done. We also introduced the final project, a movie, each group will have to make one to present their project and I'm pretty sure those will be very interesting and diverse as well. Can't wait to see them!"

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Diverse strategies for a safe-haven   Maarten: "Concepts, concepts and concepts. That is what the students have been working on!All with their own specific strategy related to the safe-haven of Mezzeh in Damascus." "Some themes we touch upon: Public life goes on, the mutual trust between segregated neighbors and quality of life for military men. How different economies benefit of each other, densification can improve new and existing housing types and no mans land can be re-qualified after conflict. Why food functions as a weapon and climate and culture asks for a bottom-up housing strategy.". 

Diverse strategies for a safe-haven

 

Maarten: "Concepts, concepts and concepts. That is what the students have been working on!All with their own specific strategy related to the safe-haven of Mezzeh in Damascus."

"Some themes we touch upon: Public life goes on, the mutual trust between segregated neighbors and quality of life for military men. How different economies benefit of each other, densification can improve new and existing housing types and no mans land can be re-qualified after conflict. Why food functions as a weapon and climate and culture asks for a bottom-up housing strategy."

"Today they will present the central motto of their concept and what, why and how related to the design strategy. We will translate that into a blog-post explaining the eight strategies in more detail".

"Today they will present the central motto of their concept and what, why and how related to the design strategy. We will translate that into a blog-post explaining the eight strategies in more detail".

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Connections-Collective Daniel: “The city is split, divided in many parts. It no longer connects he inhabitants and places or between places and places. It has drawn a border between the different parts“  (a quote, I forgot who… ungers or hilberseimer) The urban setting of the Mezzeh site in Damascus bares a great difference: planned estates, historical neighborhoods and public parks that could be enhance. A city is not build out of one type; it is a combination of many, the challenge lies in connecting and combine these parts.  We have seen that daily life in Damascus continues but how can we make stimulate living, make it better, bring the inhabitants together… The students are looking for small interventions and acupuncture architecture related to climate, stimulating the economy by trade and food production. Connections and the symbiotic of living together." "Not so much different then Venice, around every corner there is a square where people meet, talk and share their daily life." 

Connections-Collective

Daniel: “The city is split, divided in many parts. It no longer connects he inhabitants and places or between places and places. It has drawn a border between the different parts“  (a quote, I forgot who… ungers or hilberseimer) The urban setting of the Mezzeh site in Damascus bares a great difference: planned estates, historical neighborhoods and public parks that could be enhance. A city is not build out of one type; it is a combination of many, the challenge lies in connecting and combine these parts.  We have seen that daily life in Damascus continues but how can we make stimulate living, make it better, bring the inhabitants together… The students are looking for small interventions and acupuncture architecture related to climate, stimulating the economy by trade and food production. Connections and the symbiotic of living together."

"Not so much different then Venice, around every corner there is a square where people meet, talk and share their daily life." 

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Dots & Stripes! Job's Observations: "The students are developing concepts regarding the subject, intervening the partly destroyed city. Working with memory and sense of place the interventions are all becoming very personal and authentic. The groups defer from very rigid and generic to very poetic, sensitive and specific. We try to force the students to think through the people, not top down, not bottom up, but in the middle. From soldier communities to refugee camps, climate related building to urban farming, urban densification to urban connections, pockets or grids, dots or stripes. Diversity makes the city."

Dots & Stripes!

Job's Observations: "The students are developing concepts regarding the subject, intervening the partly destroyed city. Working with memory and sense of place the interventions are all becoming very personal and authentic. The groups defer from very rigid and generic to very poetic, sensitive and specific. We try to force the students to think through the people, not top down, not bottom up, but in the middle. From soldier communities to refugee camps, climate related building to urban farming, urban densification to urban connections, pockets or grids, dots or stripes. Diversity makes the city."

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
Less obvious consequences of a conflict "Yesterday was a full day of presentations of our site Mezzeh, a neighborhood of Damascus. Syrian tutors shared their detailed knowledge and students presented the research they did on specific areas within Mezzeh. It became clear to us that Mezzeh is not an area which is severely damaged physically. People are not leaving, but coming to the neighborhood, as a safe-haven. How can we cope with this phenomenon while thinking of (re)building community? And what are other (maybe less obvious or visual) influences of the conflict that Mezzeh and the communities that live there have to take into account? Short and long-term influences. That is what the students will study today, every group for its own specific fragment." 

Less obvious consequences of a conflict

"Yesterday was a full day of presentations of our site Mezzeh, a neighborhood of Damascus. Syrian tutors shared their detailed knowledge and students presented the research they did on specific areas within Mezzeh. It became clear to us that Mezzeh is not an area which is severely damaged physically. People are not leaving, but coming to the neighborhood, as a safe-haven. How can we cope with this phenomenon while thinking of (re)building community?

And what are other (maybe less obvious or visual) influences of the conflict that Mezzeh and the communities that live there have to take into account? Short and long-term influences. That is what the students will study today, every group for its own specific fragment." 

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
First Week! Placido and  Marco: "The first workshop week ended. We are very satisfied about the big number of people that asked to join our group!  In this first part, we encouraged the students to make some reflection on what is important to create an identity spaces where people can recognize themselves as community! To make this we try to put them in the condition to choose what they would save of their city (or home) in case of a possible destruction. Also we tried to explain how is important to read the city before to be able to write it, through the analysis of private, semipublic and public spaces. We are still far from the final result, but the direction is the right one.  Very funny was the moment when Marteen showed the concept to develop for the final presentation, simple but absolutely pregnant! Tomorrow, will be the time to move our attention on a more concrete situation. The territory of Siria, but in general the areas that have suffered catastrophic events, represent the occasion to rebuild spaces and houses, to give to the precariousness an unexpected quality and to understand our work as a politic act. Special thanks to Ines and Gabriela that helped us a lot. Was very important to share with them our experiences also out of the University. We are waiting for the rest of VMX TEAM!"  

First Week!

Placido and  Marco: "The first workshop week ended. We are very satisfied about the big number of people that asked to join our group! 
In this first part, we encouraged the students to make some reflection on what is important to create an identity spaces where people can recognize themselves as community!
To make this we try to put them in the condition to choose what they would save of their city (or home) in case of a possible destruction. Also we tried to explain how is important to read the city before to be able to write it, through the analysis of private, semipublic and public spaces. 
We are still far from the final result, but the direction is the right one. 

Very funny was the moment when Marteen showed the concept to develop for the final presentation, simple but absolutely pregnant! Tomorrow, will be the time to move our attention on a more concrete situation. The territory of Siria, but in general the areas that have suffered catastrophic events, represent the occasion to rebuild spaces and houses, to give to the precariousness an unexpected quality and to understand our work as a politic act.

Special thanks to Ines and Gabriela that helped us a lot. Was very important to share with them our experiences also out of the University. We are waiting for the rest of VMX TEAM!"

 

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
What is a communal space? Gabriela: "It's not always black and white, it's more complex and fluid and this makes those spaces very interesting. Students found many various examples of communal areas around. From pocket squares, hidden spaces, small street dead ends, lively neighborhood corners to the three layered -vertically and functionally - communal spaces at Gino Vale's housing in Giudecca. Participants were defining the spaces identity and presenting what makes those places special. What if those areas would disappear? Students' afternoon assignment was to rebuild the "bombed" parts of Venice. Rebuilding is always opportunity to rethink. We got tons of drawings, sketches, nolli maps and the most important - reflections. Now it's time to leave the Venice. For me and Ines litteraly, for students it's time to finish the research and focus on the Mezzeh in Syria"  

What is a communal space?

Gabriela: "It's not always black and white, it's more complex and fluid and this makes those spaces very interesting. Students found many various examples of communal areas around. From pocket squares, hidden spaces, small street dead ends, lively neighborhood corners to the three layered -vertically and functionally - communal spaces at Gino Vale's housing in Giudecca. Participants were defining the spaces identity and presenting what makes those places special.

What if those areas would disappear? Students' afternoon assignment was to rebuild the "bombed" parts of Venice. Rebuilding is always opportunity to rethink. We got tons of drawings, sketches, nolli maps and the most important - reflections. Now it's time to leave the Venice. For me and Ines litteraly, for students it's time to finish the research and focus on the Mezzeh in Syria"

 

“To be able to write the city, one has to be able to read it first”  The students defined spaces in Venice that are close to them. Specific, personal and emotionally valuable. The next step was to categorize these spaces as public, communal or private.  To draw it on scale, and research the connecting urban spaces.

“To be able to write the city, one has to be able to read it first” 

The students defined spaces in Venice that are close to them. Specific, personal and emotionally valuable. The next step was to categorize these spaces as public, communal or private.  To draw it on scale, and research the connecting urban spaces.

The aim is that by drawing the existing they will slowly grow an understanding of the specifics of communal spaces, and how these areas give the city its diversity. Venice is a city that the students know by heart, this encourages the understanding and emotional connection.

The aim is that by drawing the existing they will slowly grow an understanding of the specifics of communal spaces, and how these areas give the city its diversity. Venice is a city that the students know by heart, this encourages the understanding and emotional connection.

To move from reading to writing the city, different areas of the drawn city will be demolished. The students are asked to re-write these areas with a specific identity, and new parameters concerning density, modernity, and community building. To build a new identity that makes an urban space somewhere, not anywhere. 

To move from reading to writing the city, different areas of the drawn city will be demolished. The students are asked to re-write these areas with a specific identity, and new parameters concerning density, modernity, and community building. To build a new identity that makes an urban space somewhere, not anywhere. 

 
Shaya Fallahi
 
"Refugee camps are the cities of tomorrow" By Killian Kleinschmidt Inés: "This evenings lecture at the Tolentini Closter, by Killian Kleinschmidt was very interesting for its relation with our approach to the workshop.  Killian Kleinschmidt is a former member of the UN that, from 2013 to 2014, acted as the director of the refugee camp of Zataari, in Jordan. He explained us how the Zataari camp evolved from a refugee camp into the permanent settlement with its own economie. The camp was established in 2012 by the Jordanian Government and the UN to give refugee to 3.000 people escaping from the Syrian civil war.  Within less than a year, the population had grown till 10.000 people and, what Killian called the Revolution against the arrogance of aid, happened: there were demonstrations, robberies and protests against the living conditions in the camp. Killian understood that refugees coming from a war zone have lost their sense of community and trust and managed to establish a chain of communication with them to find a way to bring these values back. He divided the camp in administrative districts, brought electricity to the streets and encouraged the growth of all sorts of small business *from hairdressers to bicycle shops * for its pacifying effect.  He also collaborated with the City of Amsterdam and the VNG International for the future planning of the city. At the moment the Zaatari refugee camp is moving away from a model of top-down service provision, as happens usually in refugee camps, into a self-sufficient city." "He also showed us two very illustrative short movies about the atmosphere at the camp now and about the planning developed with the City of Amsterdam."

"Refugee camps are the cities of tomorrow" By Killian Kleinschmidt

Inés: "This evenings lecture at the Tolentini Closter, by Killian Kleinschmidt was very interesting for its relation with our approach to the workshop.  Killian Kleinschmidt is a former member of the UN that, from 2013 to 2014, acted as the director of the refugee camp of Zataari, in Jordan. He explained us how the Zataari camp evolved from a refugee camp into the permanent settlement with its own economie. The camp was established in 2012 by the Jordanian Government and the UN to give refugee to 3.000 people escaping from the Syrian civil war.  Within less than a year, the population had grown till 10.000 people and, what Killian called the Revolution against the arrogance of aid, happened: there were demonstrations, robberies and protests against the living conditions in the camp. Killian understood that refugees coming from a war zone have lost their sense of community and trust and managed to establish a chain of communication with them to find a way to bring these values back. He divided the camp in administrative districts, brought electricity to the streets and encouraged the growth of all sorts of small business *from hairdressers to bicycle shops * for its pacifying effect.  He also collaborated with the City of Amsterdam and the VNG International for the future planning of the city. At the moment the Zaatari refugee camp is moving away from a model of top-down service provision, as happens usually in refugee camps, into a self-sufficient city."

"He also showed us two very illustrative short movies about the atmosphere at the camp now and about the planning developed with the City of Amsterdam."

 
Shaya FallahiComment
 
WORK IN PROGRESS Gabriela: "We spent our morning working on drawings of our houses. It's very inspiring to see how different feelings about the family home students have. The side effect of many conversations was the definition of the difference between home and house. Some stories were about the way of spending time with your family- we heard about gathering together for the dinner and sharing all things about the day and about spending time with siblings. The other point of view was about the scenery around, view from the windows or about furnitures or materials. For example Manuel from Argentina marked patterned floor tiles as the element worth to keep and remember. There was also one completely different perspective- Linda just came back from Erasmus in Las Palmas and what she realized is that home is for her not a building anymore, not the room, furniture. She admitted she could find home everywhere where she can walk barefoot on the floor. I'm very excited about all of it! And looking forward to the new stories! "

WORK IN PROGRESS

Gabriela: "We spent our morning working on drawings of our houses. It's very inspiring to see how different feelings about the family home students have. The side effect of many conversations was the definition of the difference between home and house. Some stories were about the way of spending time with your family- we heard about gathering together for the dinner and sharing all things about the day and about spending time with siblings. The other point of view was about the scenery around, view from the windows or about furnitures or materials. For example Manuel from Argentina marked patterned floor tiles as the element worth to keep and remember. There was also one completely different perspective- Linda just came back from Erasmus in Las Palmas and what she realized is that home is for her not a building anymore, not the room, furniture. She admitted she could find home everywhere where she can walk barefoot on the floor. I'm very excited about all of it! And looking forward to the new stories! "

 
Shaya Fallahi