Michal Smagala

Borders and Territories

Hinterland in transition

This project explores the ways of thinking about hinterlands – territories supporting urbanisation processes, based on the example of a lignite mine in Greece. After 66 years of lignite extraction, the industry plans to phase out coal combustion which will have an extensive impact on the region. Reflecting on the future of Western Macedonia, the design proposal states that the hinterland should remain in a state of flux but in a more balanced, less profit-oriented manner. It focuses on identifying points of intensification, integrating the necessary steps into existing conditions as well as looking into what change it would bring over the years. Architectural interventions cut through various scales and temporalities, relating back to the context of the place, ecology, socio-economic forces and the people. Therefore, the design proposal is a small gesture that suggests the direction in which the ongoing continuum of the hinterland should evolve.

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