FAST was born from an idea to spark interest and discussion about how political powers use architecture and architects to implement ideological agendas. FAST’s director Malkit Shoshan believes that, “Architecture does not happen by itself; it has a legislative, social, economic, political and ideological context,”
FAST has worked in various countries, including Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and the Netherlands, but most of its recent projects have explored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The book authored by Shoshan, Atlas of the Conflict, outlines the 100 year history of the conflict through maps and diagrams. Like much of FAST’s work, it explores settlements, borders, and displacement— and the architect or urban planner’s conscious or unconscious role in contributing to the landscape of conflict.
In Palestine, this philosophy finds its way into work with unrecognized villages. Many Palestinian villages exist on the ground, but not in legal and political spheres. Prior to resolving social conflict, we must first make plain that such conditions—and places exist. As they are unrecognized by the government, it is impossible to get utilities, government services, an address, an education for your child, etc. Shoshan’s work includes a wide suite of publications, exhibits, mapping and other forms of knowledge sharing.
Current work examines the impact of UN peace operations in conflict zones, and how collaboration can lead to higher degrees of urban resilience.
We had an opportunity to speak with Malkit Shoshan about the architecture of conflict on our podcast, Social Design Insights. Listen to Episode 41 | Recognizing the Unrecognized here.