Page 50 - Norman Foster Foundation Re-materializing Housing Workshop
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 2021 Re-materializing Housing Workshop
Contents Report
Public Debates
Debate: Second Block of Keynote Speakers
Johan Karlsson Carme Pinós Brinda Somaya
Moderated by Tim Stonor
Synthesising the three previous keynotes, Tim Stonor opened the second block of the Debates by recognising the need for a different attitude in architecture and design, noting, in particular, the purpose of the architect. He directed this towards Johan Karlsson, asking what he believed is specifically needed in order to raise awareness towards the worsening realities of displacement.
Noting that architects in this field are faced with the constraint of one-year policy cycles, Karlsson brought attention to the fact that the greenest building is one already built, and that this holds true for situations of emergency relief as well—that is, renting out vacant apartments in host communities is preferable for a number of reasons, a point which Laila Iskandar also supported from her own experience.
Continuing, Carme Pinós noted that, in order to address the rapidly urbanising population, cities must be repurposed according to concrete measurements of their complexities, as well as articulated in dialogue with nature. Additionally, she argued that, in addressing displaced persons, various professions must work together to allow people to live and work in dignity, which also implies the opportunity to decide where they want to live to begin with.
Speaking on the case of India, Brinda Somaya informed the audience that, by 2050, around 400 million people will move to cities from urban areas, making this the largest human migration to take place since the historic separation of India and Pakistan, which created 10 million refugees. In response to this, she said that solutions have to be radically different and designers must think out of the box, keeping in mind as well that Western answers might not be applicable to developing contexts.
 Pictured from left to right: Tim Stoner, Carme Pinós, Brinda Somaya and Johan Karlsson
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