Diploma 4 Between London and Paris - metropolitan transformation study, DEM digital elevation model satellite data elaborated by Territorial Agency and Diploma 4

Architecture between Polity and Space - The Coast of Europe

John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog

The European project is a complex architecture unfolding across wide spaces and long durations, marked by setbacks, delays, dead-ends, accelerations, differential change, development and simultaneous growth and decay. Its development articulates cohabitation by structuring and restructuring the relations between polities and their spaces of operation. The work of Diploma 4 enquires into the uncertainties linked to the multiple territorial transformations of contemporary Europe in the new geological epoch of the Anthropocene - a new epoch of destabilising and unstable grounds, where territories acquire more visibility and torque. The Coast of Europe is a project to transform, renegotiate and reshape contemporary territories of the European project.

How do we measure and structure the bonds between a polity and the specific forms it inhabits on Earth? We enquire into the multiple territories of the European project as elements of the construction of inhabited space, as makers of its geometry. To sense, measure, survey, articulate, modulate and allocate resources and work is to govern the bonds between law and Earth. We consider the coastal territories of Europe as architectures undergoing complex rearrangements, changes and transformations. Overlapping processes are reassembled and formed into a non-deterministic architecture. Today the dynamics shaping Europe operate beyond locality engaging circulations that become more radical and visible along the coasts. It is at the coast of the European peninsula that the uncertainty of the European project is moulding new spaces of radical cohabitation.

Remote sensing technologies are deployed to analyse and envision the shifts in agency brought by the intrusion of the Earth into the European project. No longer a stable background to be measured and structured, away from a set of resources to be used, protected, enhanced or exploited; the Coast of Europe is a complex aggregate of interdependent processes. They form assemblages where there is no direct availability for inhabitation, where architecture acts amongst many transformative forces.

Unit Staff

John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog lead Territorial Agency, an independent organisation that combines architecture, analysis, advocacy and action for integrated spatial transformation of contemporary territories. Recent projects include the Museum of Oil, Anthropocene Observatory; the Museum of Infrastructural Unconscious; North; Unfinishable Markermeer; Kiruna. They are research fellows at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, where John also convenes the MA and researches for his PhD. He has been research advisor at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, and previously led the research activities of ETH Zurich/ Studio Basel Contemporary City Institute, and he is a founding member of Multiplicity. Ann-Sofi is a PhD research fellow at AHO in Oslo. She was previously a researcher at ETH Zurich/Studio Basel.


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