Borders & Territories

The ‘Borders & Territories’ (B&T) research group focuses on the critical relationship between architectural theory, socio-spatial analysis and architectural design. The group studies architectural construct as a precursor of 'now’ discourse, addressing 'other' possibilities of architecture by speculating on the relevance of the appropriation, implementation and application of methods and instruments that have been progressively externalized to the disciplinary core (cartography, literature, art, philosophy); and the constructs and objects that historically have not been considered as architectural 'material' as such within the discipline.

The B&T group explores the concept of the border and the impact of cross-border exchange on architectural, urban and territorial entities; past, present and future. It studies the role of infrastructure, networks and migratory movements on the transforming territory. The current state of geopolitics is characterized by a series of superimposed, highly complex and differentiating conditions, balancing between the implementation of tangible and intangible borders that define carefully delimited territories of varying scales. These differentiated conditions have a strong impact on architectural production. Studying these conditions means getting insights into how borders are produced, controlled, coded and maintained within territorial entities, and how spatial sets of (cross-border) relationships thus also produce territories. As this research program enquires the intrinsic nature of architecture (and its conceptual and theoretical construction), within the context of regional territories and urban border zones, the B&T research program positions itself within the entire scale palette from the region to urban localities. The program will investigate how questions of space across borders and territories can become the (basic) material for the architectural project, which is regarded as the concrete instance where regional logistics meet with local conditions.

B&T focusses on these four main areas of research:

  1. Border Conditions: The role of borders in spaces of conflict and related issues of migration;
  2. Territory / Infrastructure: The context and material conditions of architectural construct and form conceived as territorial entity; 
  3. Architectural Adjacencies: The discursive field of disciplinary ‘borders’ of architecture and the transgression of such borders; and 
  4. Modi Operandi: Speculative and practical research on drawing and on advanced inventive techniques (such as cartographies, mapping, inscription, encoding) as the basis for architectural formulation. 

The research group cultivates the disciplinary edge conditions, meaning it emphasizes a trans-disciplinary research attitude and methodological approach that connects architecture to other related disciplines and fields of inquiry, such as human geography, engineering, aesthetics, critical theory, media studies, and the humanities and social sciences at large.

The research group explores the concept of the border and the impact of cross-border exchange on architectural, urban and territorial entities; past, present and future. It studies the role of infrastructure, networks and migratory movements on the transforming territory. The current state of geopolitics is characterized by a series of superimposed, highly complex and differentiating conditions, balancing between the implementation of tangible and intangible borders that define carefully delimited territories of varying scales. These differentiated conditions have a strong impact on architectural production. Studying these conditions means getting insights into how borders are produced, controlled, coded and maintained within territorial entities, and how spatial sets of (cross-border) relationships thus also produce territories.

Projects