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Architecture (MA)

ADS2: Shifting Earths: Designing with the Infra-Structural Life of Circulation


This year, ADS2 has investigated a range of actors, scales, materials, and technologies involved in shaping the earth today. Focusing on the natural and human driven processes of shifting earths required by the infrastructures of planetary circulations, the studio has produced design strategies within the framework of black infra-structural life – the hidden, multiscalar practices of everyday life upon which these mega developments depend.

Since the emergence of transatlantic slavery, the infrastructures of the logistical circulations of racial capitalism might have seemed totalising, but they have always depended on hidden networks of life within its machines. From the climatic phenomenon of the trade winds to the secret garden plots of the slave plantations, racial capitalism has relied upon, and coerced into its infrastructures, forms of life that it never understood and could never fully control.

Centring the everyday social and ecological processes that remain sheltered from the full gaze of racial capitalism, the studio has investigated the conditions to design within and adjacent to the infra-structural life of logistical circulations, considering strategies to reduce our dependence on extractive production and consumption cycles. Through a close engagement with the geophysics, geopolitics, and racializing technological mediations of shifting earthly matters, ADS2 projects reconsider the role of architecture in the design of worlding strategies within planetary-scale ecologies of extraction.

Image: Autonomous Sensory’ by Artemis Han, ADS2 2023.