It is surprising how often entire projects are carried out without a really in-depth appraisal of what is already in place. This happens in the professional practice, but even more often in academia, where the study of the original urban context is too often disregarded. That tells a lot of how low is the consideration of most designers for the endless complexity of layered values and memories that are always embedded even in the poorest urban setting.
Needless to say, first to be forgotten in this media game is real people in their real environment, and the real stratification of social values, memories, symbols, practices, habits and mutually sensible dynamics in general that simply make a place what it is and a community of humans what it has always been. We want our students to learn that a good urban project is based on knowledge and respect for what is in place, even if it challenges our own values and ways of thinking. The first step to do that is to represent the place.
Aanchal Agrawal, Louise Mencnarowski, Viraj Khandalkar & Wolf Compernolle