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Architecture (MA)

ADS11: الهجرة Hijra


This year ADS11 travels with and trouble the fringes of the term Hijra , الهجرة — an Arabic word referring to ‘emigrating’, ‘passing’ or ‘coming’. The term hijra الهجرة also speaks to the ‘gathering’ one might find in preparation of the journey, at its midst, in the line of flight, and at the destination (if indeed such a place exists).

In dominant discourse, the conventions of architecture have served to confine or control space, shaping historical experience and social relations in static form. As a result, the history of peoples for whom movement, not stasis, is the principle experience does not find easy or direct translation into form. Architecture relies on a range of other forms of expertise, from building codes and planning regulations to engineering and construction; equally it arises from diverse forces, desires and projections. Indeed, architecture could be seen as one of the most enduring ways in which we tell stories about ourselves. Yet, those who have arrived through an act of migration and its specific spatial experience are rarely acknowledged in most discussions of what constitutes excellence, provocation, or experimentation in architecture.

Our studio celebrates a different kind of spatial politics, the imaginative politics inherent to all groups of people and ideas migrating in order to survive and thrive. We believe there is enormous architectural potential in working with the diasporic, the mythical, the performative and the narrative to create a new set of architectural conventions, giving material and spatial representation to these themes.

Tutors: Sumayya Vally, Shumi Bose, Flash Okunribido

Special thanks to Siufan Adey, Sara Alissa,

Lubna Chowdhury, Seif El Rashidi, Zakkiyah Haffejee, Nicholas Lobo Brennan, Heidi Lu, Bushra Mohamed, Tonia Murray, Roanne Oberholzer, Wejdan Reda, Shahed Saleem, Space Popular (Lara Lesmes & Fredrik Hellberg), Manijeh Verghese & the team at Islamic Arts Biennale

Video: ADS11 Hijra  الهجرة

Credit: Dilush Selva