FAST seeks to make systemic violence visible while improving the quality of the built environment and consequently, people’s livelihoods. The drive behind the creation of the think-tank began with a challenge posed by a Palestinian community of internally displaced persons, Ein Hawd. The community needed a planning alternative to the one imposed by the Israeli government. They wished to have a masterplan, with which they could negotiate with governmental bodies and claim access to civic rights and services. To propose a solution, the founders decided to address the role of architecture in times of crisis. The first project, One Land Two Systems, focused on Ein Hawd. Since then, many projects, publications, and exhibitions have followed.
Since their first project, FAST has worked in various countries including Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and the Netherlands, though most of its recent projects have explored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One notable project is the long-term collaborative research project BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions and Design for legacy, which examines and makes UN peace missions’ impact on cities and communities visible.
The book authored by founding director, Malkit Shoshan, called 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.
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 the episode below.