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"Demapping Waters by Design: On Empty Shells and Lonesome Markers of Sovereignty in the South China Sea" with Lukas Pauer

Fri, Nov 20/15 – 1:00pm to 2:00pm

230 College, Room 103

Lukas's lecture will reframe nation-making and the agency of mapping in its ability to inspire techniques of cartographic construction that simultaneously draw the map itself and the political and socio-economic landscape it governs.

Investigating remote patches of water in the South China Sea where construction is used to assert control over a string of low-lying landscape features by turning them into human-made structures, the lecture shall demonstrate how large-scale artificial architectural interventions being forced into existence are only practical because of a particular combination of political and economic policy and cartographic representation. By presenting recent projects through means of storytelling and methods that claim no historical loyalty, as sources and facts are being intentionally set up to serve a reducing purpose, it is a series of critical assessments on contemporary issues.

This lecture will serve as a critical response to how we might measure the influence of speculation and manipulation of representation, of how information is being strategically turned on and off, in a discipline to which the production of value is a foreign concept. How will architects begin to perceive the constructive processes that our laws and maps engender as an opportunity to re-evaluate the political economy of the models that drive them?

Lukas Pauer is a licensed architect, urbanist, and educator. His work focuses on innovative design generation techniques for urbanization processes yet to be visualized both within and outside of spatial practice. He holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and ETH Zürich. His forthcoming publication with Melbourne Books, entitled Growing Islands Growing Nations, will focus on how landscape architecture has become central to the geopolitics of claiming sovereignty through establishing a territorial footprint.