A design platform for global issues

Project Title: Global Atlas of Fragile Fields

Location: Texas, Houston and others

Author: Amanda Aman + Contributing Students: Kaylee Lamb, Emmanuel Ogunlola, Bryan Hernandez, Gabrielle Rossato, Isaiah Sigala

From PORTAL, Global Atlas of Fragile Fields – Amanda Aman and others

Fragile Fields began as a storytelling construct with a novel approach to educational outreach within contemporary architectural discourse. As architects, we are positioned with an incredibly powerful platform enabling us to tell stories in such a rich way that the heart of the critical issues at hand is given precedence over political and economic gain.

Initial research for these fields began through the lens of documentaries and “Year in Review” photo essays where students were asked to retrace the systems at play causing and contributing to the global issues present. These issues and quandaries each have a field – a site within a system (or series of systems) that can materialise at a variety of scales – and that is ultimately deemed unstable, uncertain, and fragile. The systems of each defined field were analytically and graphically mapped to reveal the invisible framework behind the defined issue resulting in the construction of a visual narrative. From there, each student then designed a response – a small spatial construct within the field, intended for replication for a greater impact – reacting and/or responding to the agents of the system(s) and addressing the defined issue with a solution.

Collectively, the projects form a global atlas of fragile fields, yielding a unique contribution to this platform of educational outreach, with the hope of generating compassion, engagement, and measurable action within the global discourse. Some of the anchoring global issues mapped within the atlas include: human and sex trafficking, food shortages at refugee camps, Caribbean poverty, immigration to the U.S., wildfire effects on wildlife, declining pollinator populations, climate change effects on whale migration, oil spill mitigation, and the effects of resource extraction on wildlife in the Arctic.

This narratives piece showcases five projects from the atlas.

Text provided by the author(s).