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Curatorial Statement

ARCHITECTURE OF MIGRATION

By choosing "Architecture of Migration" as a conference theme, we aim to broaden the notion of “migration” beyond its preconceptions and deconstruct its most common meanings. Architecture in this context is considered a system, a medium and prerequisite for movement – not merely an inhabitable building but the physical infrastructure of space and intangible connections.

The event and conference will merge worldwide expertise with a closer focus on the Baltic Sea Region and countries delineating the Baltic coast.

Curatorial Statement

ARCHITECTURE OF MIGRATION

By choosing "Architecture of Migration" as a conference theme we aim to broaden the notion of “migration” beyond its preconceptions and deconstruct its most common meanings. Architecture in this topic is considered a system, a medium and prerequisite for movement – not merely an inhabitable building but rather the physical infrastructure space and intangible connections.

The event and conference will merge worldwide expertise with a closer focus on the Baltic Sea Region and countries delineating the Baltic coast.

The geographical north in the crossroads of planetary circulation

What does it mean to look at global migration from the viewpoint of geographical North? And more precisely – how do we position ourselves, meaning the Baltic Sea Region, in the crossroads of worldwide circulation?

What if we look at the planet by altering our habitual way? We may be confronted with unnoticed geopolitical and economic intentions and system of intersecting flows – networks of high-speed transport links and fiber-optics grids, opportunities for exploitation of the Arctic, abandoned border checkpoints, and urbanisation of the Baltic Sea in opposition to the drama of the shrinking population in the countryside.

The geographical north in the crossroads of planetary circulation

What does it mean to look at global migration from the viewpoint of geographical North? And more precisely – how do we position ourselves, meaning the Baltic Sea Region, in the crossroads of worldwide circulation?

What if we look at the planet by altering our habitual way? We may be confronted with unnoticed geopolitical and economic intentions and system of intersecting flows – networks of high-speed transport links and fiber-optics grids, opportunities for exploitation of the Arctic, abandoned border checkpoints, and urbanisation of the Baltic Sea in opposition to the drama of the shrinking population in the countryside.

The ecosystem of the region – building the Baltic community for a powerful future

Significant and innovative cross-border collaborations are and will be extremely crucial in achieving sustainability goals.

By marking the Baltic Sea Region on the larger geopolitical canvas, we aim to overcome national boundaries and build a community in the belief that the Baltic countries can perform more powerfully together – share their narrative and develop policies and instruments for a resilient future.


Future intersections, urban and rural – the Baltic perspective

International migration has reached significant numbers, but at the same time data shows that internal migration within nation states is four times higher. The implications of migration in the region are diverse. In contrast to a major influx of migrants in Scandinavia as the West of the region, Baltic countries as the East went through a significant emigration wave. The common trends of internal circulation leave concerns about depopulation of rural territories. What if the prognosis comes true and the number of people in Latvia will decrease by 50% in 80 years’ time from now?

New briefs and actions – current responses to the globe in flux

We aim to look for new tasks given to spatial practitioners, promoted by policies and acknowledged by users. We will explore future scenarios for the vast landscapes of the Baltic Region, shaped in part by the centralised planning of the Soviet Union, and relate them to EU policies. What are the resources we can use to create new environments for living? And how do we perform in the context of new technological advancements, such as the fastest Internet connections in the world?

CURATORS

The curatorial team consists of two Latvian architects: Dagnija Smilga and Dina Suhanova. They are both committed to shaping a common dialogue to identify future trends within the Baltic space in order to reimagine design briefs, revise policies and plan socio-economic, territorial and spatial transformations. Both believe that performing in the field of architecture is part of building a surrounding culture.

CURATORS

The curatorial team consists of two Latvian architects – Dagnija Smilga and Dina Suhanova. They are both committed to shaping a common dialogue to identify the future trends within the Baltic space in order to reimagine design briefs, revise policies and plan socio-economic, territorial and spatial transformations. Both believe that performing in the field of architecture is part of building a surrounding culture.

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DAGNIJA SMILGA
is a practicing architect, researcher, and curator operating between the Alps and the Baltic coastline. She is a founding partner of "ĒTER" – an architectural practice that creates unique environments in-between nature, technology, and contemporary culture. Her professional career includes an associate architect position at Hosoya Schaefer Architects, where her work has been fundamental for projects such as a UP Express train line in Toronto, a train station in Herisau and Airport Engadin – the last two in Switzerland. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna with the master’s thesis “Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure: The Network of Shrinking Towns in the Baltic Sea Region”. The research led to co-curating and designing the joint exhibition “The Baltic Pavilion” – the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian representation at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2016.

Photo: M.Markovskis

DINA SUHANOVA
is educated as an architect and theorist in visual arts and culture. After working professionally as an architect, Dina currently has turned her interests towards architects' education and acts as an architecture programme director and tutor at RISEBA University of Applied Sciences.

For almost 10 years she has worked in collaboration with the architectural design studio Mailītis Architects and was a team member of the award-winning project of the Shaolin Flying Monks Temple in China. Dina is also an editor of numerous academic publications, frequently contributes articles to the journal "Latvijas Architektūra", is involved in curating summer programmes for architecture and urbanism students, and takes part in other interdisciplinary projects on an international level.

DINA SUHANOVA
is educated as an architect and theorist in visual arts and culture. After working professionally as an architect, Dina currently has turned her interests towards architects' education and acts as an architecture programme director and tutor at RISEBA University of Applied Sciences. 
For almost 10 years she has worked in collaboration with the architectural design studio Mailītis Architects and was a team member of the award-winning project of the Shaolin Flying Monks Temple in China. Dina is also an editor of numerous academic publications, frequently contributes articles to the journal "Latvijas Architektūra", is involved in curating summer programmes for architecture and urbanism students, and takes part in other interdisciplinary projects on an international level.

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CO-CURATOR: DANIEL UREY (LABLAB)
Daniel Urey has a background in political science and is the head of the LABLAB research and design think tank at the architect studio ARKLAB, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Today LABLAB operates along the frontiers of ecological and spatial transformations in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Region. Before LABLAB, Daniel Urey was engaged in the strategic development of international urbanisation programmes conducted by Färgfabriken, a contemporary arts centre in Stockholm. Daniel Urey has the experience of working in the Baltic Sea Region, the Balkan’s, the Middle East, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. 

CO-CURATOR:
DANIEL UREY (LABLAB)

Daniel Urey has a background in political science and he is the head of LABLAB research and design think tank at the architect studio ARKLAB, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Today LABLAB operates along the frontiers of ecological and spatial transformations in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Region. Before LABLAB, Daniel Urey was engaged in the strategic development of international urbanisation programs conducted by Färgfabriken, a contemporary arts center in Stockholm. Daniel Urey has the experience of working in the Baltic Sea Region, the Balkan’s, Middle East, East Africa, and South East Asia.