Counter Borders

The Counter Borders handout, designed by Raquel Pinto. Photo Superscript.

How important is belonging to emerging architectural practices today? The post-recession economy has brought to the fore a number of critical, nimble, and resourceful young architects, who enjoy an extraordinary level of mobility in where they practice, where they build, and where they draw their ideas from. This is one of the many reflections sparked by the theme of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale — After Belonging, which Superscript integrates with “Counter Borders“, a project that is part of the Triennale’s Extended Program.

In the last months, we’ve has orchestrated dialogues between 14 emerging architects and architectural studios practicing in different parts of the world, putting them face-to-face to talk to each other about their practice. They discussed how their identity is reflected in their work, how they engage with the identities of the people they design for, and how these two senses of “belonging” support or conflict with each other. Through these dialogues, we hope to represent the elusive act of negotiating the innumerable borders and counter-borders involved in today’s globalized architecture.

The project is currently under development, and the first stage will be presented during the opening week of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale — After Belonging, where a public presentation of Counter Borders will unveil the project’s website and discuss themes that have emerged during the research, with the presence of participating architects.

The conversations are currently being gathered in a publication, alongside specially commissioned photo essays and a critical discussion of project. Through this volume Superscript hopes to expand the discourse around the concepts of personal and professional identities and borders in contemporary architects’ practices. Later in 2016, the publication will be launched at dedicated events in Oslo and New York.