As the first competition registration opens, we welcome you into the new and exciting season of Think Space concept degree competitions. This competition cycle will be opened by Territories, inspecting the territorial and economic claims in the Arctic area, under the light of the cycle theme – MONEY. Territories competition will be juried by David A. Garcia of MAP architects – a design platform based in Copenhagen, active internationally and engaged mostly with projects in challenging environments. From flood prone areas, to arctic regions, from the challenges of desertification or abandoned infrastructure, our methodology aims to turn hazards into assets and believe that what exists is only a small part of what is possible.
Territories Competition Deadlines
Launch 24 September 2013
Submission Deadline 4 November 2013
Results Announcement 3 December 2013
Territories Competition Blurb by Guest Curators / or how MONEY relates to Territories
“Money is any object or record that isgenerally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts ina given socio-economic context.”
Money is no more than a social construction that hasits value on the collective agreement to accept certain forms of measurement.Nevertheless, money is an immanent concept in our daily life. Under thecapitalist system that leads the world in the current times, we can’t deny thatmoney rules [almost] everything: the way we live, what we eat, where we go andhow we relate with other… As coined by James Carville in 1992, “the economy, stupid.” Thus, if MONEY is only a virtual object andits value depends on the object to exchange, how can we work in a newunderstanding of the concepts of value, trade and exchange from a differentpoint of view?
Money has been one of the main issues [if not the mostimportant] to define the creation of territories and space. Borders created foreconomical purposes and financial markets in many ways are guiding how citiesevolve. The relationship between countries basically depends on debt:creditor/debtor relation; where debt is not an impediment to growth. Accordingto Maurizio Lazzarato, it represents the economic and subjective engine of themodern-day economy. Even this fact,during the past years we are starting to perceive capitalism as a failed systemand probably as not the only option anymore. One of the signs of this failed system can be found on the sovereigndebt crises that have placed several Eurozone nations under a situationdetermined by the European Union’s so-called troika—European Commission,European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund [IMF]— and notdetermined by their citizens and inhabitants. For Baudrillard, money is nolonger a medium or a means to circulate commodities, it is circulation itself, that is to say, it is the realized form of thesystem in its twisting abstraction.
But this concept is changing at a rapid rate. Just ayear ago, the Occupy movement used bills as a tool for social protest. The Occupy George movement pointed “Money talks, but not loud enough for the 99%. By circulating dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics, Occupy Georgeinforms the public of America’s daunting economic disparity one bill at atime.” As Emily Gilbert points, “currency is not just a neutral economic tool,as the economists would have it, but it embodies cultural, political, andeconomic values.” Experimental currencies as bitcoin [described asdecentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone,anywhere in the world] is expected to be the next bubble, but at least it opensnew ways of thinking about different economic models. In the middle of theseexperimental processes, there are new tools that more people is using everyday, new forms of economics and trade, such as crowdfunding, social money and micropayments,based on the confidence and support of the network. these tools are here tostay and can be harnessed as catalysts for change. The way we interact ascitizens in this new economic scenario is transforming how we use public space,digital tools and create new physical and virtual territories.
How can this flow affect the practice of architecture,and what kind of proposal can come from architecture within this exchange ofideas dealing with the #futureofmoney.
What if our cities were able to evolve without money?How economic flows reflect in the configuration of cities? How it would looklike a “right of the city” initiative in a tax haven state? Can we design newterritories that operate outside the traditional economic guidelines? Which isthe role of the architect within this scenario [if there’s one]?
We’relooking for pioneering works at the intersection of architecture, sociology,economics, programming and marketing that radically challenge the fundamentalspatial, social and urban relation based on capitalism.
MONEY | Territories
MONEY has been one of the main issues [if not the most important] to define the creation of territories and space. Borders created for economical purposes and financial markets in many ways are guiding how cities evolve. The new virtual territories created by economic exchange between rich and poor countries, creating new economic spaces at the same time than dissolving other ones somehow makes difficult to understand how money moves from one place to another place and envision the currency’s relationship to the production of space. In this context we can also mention local exchange trading systems which emerged on the basis “from the community for the community”. As its easy to understand how money and currency drives the expansion of empires and states and how new local currencies are trying to avoid the idea of power and control always related with traditional economic models.
The relationship between countries basically depends on debt: creditor/debtor relation. Territorial claims in the Arctic, invisible economic flows such as immigration, free ports, free economic zones, and tax havens can be part of this topic.
Keywords: Arctic claims, free-ports, borders, currency, space, local currency, unclaimed money, tax havens.