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    'Where they clutch their crosses and wait.' Marcus Fernandes The bunker building trend is booming. There are rumours that the elite are preparing for disasters you’ve not even begun to consider possible. ‘Where they clutch their crosses and wait’ imagines a bunker sat under the sand in the abandoned diamond mining town of Kolmanskop in the Namib Desert. Drawing from the area’s history of greed and the unequal distribution of resources, this project applies such parables to the bunker trend; creating a punitive shelter for Namibia’s upper crust to wait out dark days, forced to turn to faith and reconsider the moral implication of their privilege in escaping turmoil in the context of Namibia’s complex colonial history and strong Christian values.

    'Centre of Conversation' Dorothy Zhang We are losing languages at a rate of one language every two weeks. By 2100, half of the world’s languages might disappear. Although documentation has been the usual approach, culture ultimately cannot be stored but enacted and lived out. Against the backdrop of libraries, archives and museums, memory is perhaps our greatest link to culture. Languages are not just dying in remote villages; they can die on the 26th floor of skyscrapers too. Jackson Heights in Queens, New York is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in the world, home to 167 languages including several Himalayan languages which are hanging on by a thread. The difficulty for new immigrants is the struggle between their desire to preserve cultural traditions while also immersing themselves in the city they now call home. This project formalises the scenarios of language practised on the street through different programs of radio, auditoriums, classrooms and libraries. As a cultural centre, the preservation of language is about the spoken language, oral history and the continuation of cultural activities. Shielded by a layered construction and a solid thick sandbag wall, a corridor of stairs forms an acoustic barrier. The interior hempcrete wall is supported by timber structure.

    'The Self-Build Factory' Bushra Tellisi The Self-build factory is a site of production and education for self-build housing located in Mitte, Berlin – acting as an antithesis to corporate influences along the River Spree. Through repurposing the former Berlin Eisfabrik (Ice Factory) into a site of production and exchange of skills, local communities can reimagine the city, and in the words of Roger Zogolovitch, become their own developers. Beside the factory would be a wheatfield, contrasting connotations of rurality with the centrality of the site, to then be used in the production of straw housing panels. The site becomes both a site of production, and a site of producing the production itself. Metaphorically more than practically, this represents how brownfield sites across the city can be repurposed and conserved to reframe how we view our cities today.

    'Life Support Machine' Yeliz Abdurahman If cities were living organisms, right now they would be in the emergency department. The consistent exponential population growth is leading Earth to a state of paralysis. The consequences - dense monotonous landscapes and ecological degradation. Imagining a new urban layer, sitting mid-air, plugged in to the existing building clusters. Containing inside ecosystems made of elements ranging on a spectrum from natural to artificial, leading to a point where the distinction between the two becomes irrelevant. Synthetic nature - stretched infinitely and at regular intervals over and within the city fabric. A public space overlaying the private space, occupying the air above it, as well as responding to the increased demand for food, housing, energy, transportation caused by the rapidly rising population of Hong Kong. The skin - operating as a harvesting surface, a farm, absorbing carbon dioxide, generating food and energy, fueling an integrated aerial tramway system. The pylons of which - used as the structural towers around which the proposed spaces are constructed. The experience of moving through the structures via choreographed routes, dictating a constant transition between the inside and the outside, following the raised platforms and walkways made of steel trusses in order to create a strong contrast with the lightness and the vast, cloudy character of the outer shell. A system that is both working very hard to slow down the intensity of overpopulation’s consequences but also responds to them, adapts or transforms accordingly, and provides an alternative way of occupying cities.

    'Re-Mind' Amy Qianqian Ma Re-Mind is an alternative mental rehabilitation centre located in Hong Kong. Through research into the growing risk of the mental health crisis and the effect of building materials on one’s wellbeing, this project conceptualises a space to help individuals recover. In a culture that stigmatises mental health, Re-Mind removes institutional labels and stigmas to provide an obscured recovery centre, planting the roots for discussion of mental health issues within the community. Using foliage, timbers and gardens, Re-Mind is a moment of zen escape in the bustling city of Hong Kong, a place to detach from hectic urban life.

    'Submerging stronghold' Daniel Sars In a hypothetical future in which climate change has melted all of earth’s glaciers, sea levels will rise with an expected 80 meters. In places of vulnerable cultural heritage and fragile community identities like Venice, a tower becomes a symbolic indicator of the level the sea will reach if no action is undertaken to revert this slow climate disaster. A programme of observation, research and philosophical discussion about risk aims to revert or mitigate the effects of climate change, combining knowledge from various academic fields. As such, the tower tries to prevent the necessity for its secondary programme: to be a stronghold for the community in times of crisis and floods. Over the centuries, as the sea level creeps up and the tower becomes more and more submerged, it becomes a physical anchor point for a changed urban structure. Floating structures, using rafts and pontoons, become the new home of the existing community. Referencing lighthouse construction and built out of solid stone, the tower is meant to withstand centuries of waves and soil movement, in order to mark the ancestral soil of its community.

    'Innovation Incubator' Mykola Murashko The rate of technological innovation has far outstripped that of industry - leaving construction to remain a slow, expensive, and polluting process. This presents a challenge for architects as we work with a slow medium in an ever-accelerating society. I argue that in response we must design our buildings to stay relevant for a prolonged lifespan so as to dampen the volume of carbon and capital that is needed for construction.

    'Ashes to Ashes' Maryam Popoola The end is here, now what? As the exponential growth of waste becomes a more imminent trigger for climate change and the disasters it could bring, it is important to re-define the narrative surrounding waste and explore ways in which it could be applied beneficially on individual, social and architectural levels. This project interrogates the use of mycelium as a resilient material for Talent, a small town on the west coast of the United States recently ravaged by the Almeda Drive wildfire. The fire left behind a divided town, with one end completely engulfed in dust, and the other almost untouched. The result is a line of questioning regarding the idea of rebirth, the relationship between the old and the new and the infusion of the circular nature of waste into the fabric of future buildings. For the people of Talent, this culminates in a community centre which serves to revive the sense of home lost in the fire. It does so by encouraging the act of growing via the compost pavilion to replenish the earth and reaping food waste, the act of learning through the establishment of spaces dedicated to the incubation and mastering of mycelium, the act of sharing encapsulated by a dining area bridging the two worlds of Talent. In essence, it is a structure dedicated to the restoration and the growth of a community. While waste may teach that all things must come to an end, it also creates ideal opportunities for fruitful beginnings.

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