Untitled (The Things Around Us)
The video assembly Untitled (The Things Around Us) presents a heterogeneous series of environments, conditions, objects, and figures that have agency in 51N4E’s and Rural Urban Framework’s approaches to design. Formulated as a catalogue of “things,” in the philosopher Bruno Latour’s use of the word, the assembly presents the expanded ecology in which the architects work, and draws focus away from design or buildings as such. Instead, a dynamic panorama of natural and social forces across territories foregrounds context. The narrative unfolds as an aggregation of voices with which the architects engage in dialogue.
The video assembly’s fabric canopy and felt flooring borrow from the scenography of 51N4E’s and RUF’s interventions in Zurich and Ulaanbaatar, respectively. The canopy, in and onto which video is projected, mirrors the cabane at the Design in Dialogue Lab, Chair of Architecture & Urban Transformation at ETH Zurich, led by Freek Persyn of 51N4E, which creates a safe and versatile space for confrontation and co-production in an unconventional academic setting. Similarly, the assembly’s felt flooring takes its inspiration from RUF’s work investigating and refitting the traditional ger structure for contemporary urban use. Composed of compacted sheep wool, felt provides efficient insulation from Mongolia’s harsh winters, and is easy to disassemble and transport.