Moments in Space is a research narrative and embodied exploration of different moments that decipher the way we understand a
post-traumatic space. This Master’s thesis project explores the different layers of architectural representation, urban mapping and
spatial design in places of conflict. It acknowledges the hidden manifestations of trauma in the built environment. Through the
embodied and sensorial experience that trauma has on our mind and body, moments in space magnifies the un-visible effects of war,
destruction and conflict on our daily spatial experience.
#architecture #design #trauma #conflict #space #time #memory
Cologne - Germany
Beirut - Lebanon
Published / Exhibited
Moments in Space -
A Retrospective Exploration of Post-traumatic Spaces in Places of Conflict
Space is everything around us, the hidden and the visible, the silent and the noisy, the clear and the blurred. In places of conflict, we design for physical protection but we neglect to acknowledge the effect of conflict on our post-traumatic experiences. Space holds a powerful reminder to the events that we experience. Through different aesthetical sensations, space can trigger our senses and remind us of past feelings and sensations; our traumas. As designers, we have a responsibility towards our environment. The built environment around us is a host to our daily experiences. How we navigate and design for the world requires a level of awareness. The majority of the world is passing through moments of conflict that are often not visible to everyone. The absurdity of world politics in our time now has directed the narrative towards hate rather than acknowledgement and acceptance.
Exhibiting Moments in Space
On July 5-10, Moments in Space was exhibited at KISD (Koln International School of Design) in Cologne Germany.
As part of the MA Thesis Project, the exhibition aimed at showcasing the ways in which we understanding, represent and explore post-traumatic spaces in places of conflict.
Through different mediums of representation; auditory, visual, theoretical and experimental, Moments in Space shared a narrative of Traumatic spaces by taking Beirut Lebanon as a case study.
Layers of Post-traumatic Spaces
The production of post-traumatic spaces is affected by many factors. There are five key factors or layers in the production of post-traumatic spaces in places of conflict: space, people, time, trauma, and memory.
All Spaces are Traumatic
Space is experienced in different moments. These moments exist in a continous loop. The condition of a Space is relative to the person that experiences it. It relies on the 5 layers of traumatic space understanding. A space is considered either pre-traumatic, traumatic or post-traumatic depending on the conditions and layers in which a person experiences it.
Capturing Space with different Mediums
This moment in space visualizes a traumatic event across a portion of the city of Beirut. Designing space requires a well-rounded overview of all sides of the surrounding. Using computer-aided software, urban space and architecture can be simultaneously viewed from all angles. Similar to understanding a traumatic space, it is important to be able to look at space from all vantage points. Architectural representation often relies on a visual explanation of space. The overlay of images both in 2D and 3D format gives the space a moment of clarity and truth.
Maps of Beirut
The three main events represented are examples of traumatic events that occurred in the city which feed into the identity of traumatic spaces.
* The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1991)
* The Un-public public spaces and the 2019 reclamation of public space
* The 2020 Port Explosion and the social recovery
Exact Moments Replayed
This exploration exhibits the moments of trauma that occur in space visually. It represents a truthful visual of the trauma during its actual moment.
Minutes of Traumatic Thinking
This audio-visual exploration showcases daily moments with striking traumatic events as equals in the mind of a person suffering from trauma. The aim of this moment is to allow the designer or viewer to acknowledge the hidden noise that trauma carries in our daily life. Short recorded videos of daily activities are played simultaneously.
Narratives in Places of Conflict
As part of an extensive survey, a series of interviews were done where people living in Lebanon shared their experience in their "homes" in times of conflict. The participants mapped out their home plans and discussed their safe and unsafe spaces.
These surveys and interviews showcased the relation between space and trauma. They exhibited the importance of spatial experience in our traumatic memories.
We naviagte spaces and recall them while remembering. Space has an outstanding power over the human experience.