TL x FFGHZ: Weather in 2 days, 3 scales

In collaboration with First Floor Gallery Harare. 

A workshop with artists at the First Floor Gallery Harare exploring new ways of thinking about creating public space in the city.

Weather is commonly understood to be a natural phenomenon. It is an atmospheric process which occurs dramatically above the heads of largely unsuspecting human beings who scurry around responding to its inflicted conditions - huddling together to keep warm, running for cover at the slightest touch of rain or wilting in the face of constant sunshine. Too often when we talk of construction, we are working to build spaces within which we shut out and exclude the natural. We seek to hide ourselves in concrete boxes, thatched roofs and whitewashed walls, far away from the raging atmospheric processes around us. 

 

This course explored an alternative thinking - where architecture can be about the creation of microclimates, blurring the boundary between the natural and the artificial to reinvigorate public space in Harare, Zimbabwe. Participants imagined spaces which were part built and part naturally occurring, which were purposefully cold and wet, zones of extreme heat or high pressure. Participants were encouraged to think about designing spaces which are atmospheric - they only came alive during a sudden rainfall or only began to thrive during times of extreme drought.

Designing over 2 days and in 3 scales - a personal object, a public space, a weather phenomenon - participants proposed unusual interventions for Harare which provided for beauty, poetics and necessity in addressing some of the key issues being faced in the city at the time.