Ukraine. Architectures of Emergency


During the months of the attempted invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, images of the war have come in continuity, in a fragmented way in which we see burnt housing blocks, broken concrete, cracked and burnt buildings. In this way, the materiality of war has been expressed through the architectural landscape in destruction. 

In recent months we have developed a research with the aim of architecturally analyzing spatial situations that have developed from the emergency protocols engendered by the emergency state. The research continues with the aim of recomposing an exhibition with these different dynamics of reconfiguration of resistance by the Ukrainian people. With the idea of generating a process of collection, transmission, and information. 

In this way, this exhibition is built from an analysis of the different states and scales- mapping the configurations of proximity to Switzerland, the entanglements, and the scales of interconnection and fragility. In addition, we will analyze protocols of emergency, the architectures that appear, and the tangible and material approach to conflict. To this, we will add the analysis of the residential buildings that have become the image of the fragility of the construction of a state, the panelkas building, the architectures of collapse, and the reconstruction processes. 

Without forgetting that Ukraine continues in a state of emergency that is highly uncertain, and we assume that the exhibition must embody this condition, transforming uncertainty into practices of possibility.  It will be precisely this variable that will condition the exhibition device and the series of materials exhibited together with those invited to the exhibition. In this way it is essential that the exhibition maintains a collective dimension, integrating diverse Ukrainian architects and researchers who develop practices in this condition of exception. Understanding, in this way, the exhibition not as an absolute state but as a process of research and approach to a situation in constant redefinition.

-Elena Orap is a Ukrainian architect who collaborates on the research project “Architectures of Emergency” developed at ALICE, which investigates the agency of architecture in the current state of emergency in Ukraine through the reading of buildings and structures which appear during the conflict. 

-Estefania Mompean Botias. Architect, PhD candidate at ALICE laboratory at EPFL (2021-2025). Her research on Architectures of Emergency explores the Emergency conditions, the study of their ambivalences, examining the new connotations of regulation that the Emergency States are acquiring, and identifying how architecture and urban studies respond to these situations.

2022, 2023
Architecture, Construction, Heritage, Housing, Representation, Society, Territory, Urban study
CC BY Licence