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Archipelago: Architectures for the Multiverse

With continental thinking, the mind runs with audacity, but we then believe that we see the world as a block, or at large, or at once, as a kind of imposing synthesis, just as we can, by way of general aerial views, see the configurations of landscapes and mountainous areas as they pass by. With archipelagic thinking, we get to know the rocks in the rivers, assuredly the smallest rocks and rivers. (Édouard Glissant¹)

Organized by two schools of the HES⁠-⁠SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (Geneva)—HEAD, Geneva School of Art and Design and HEPIA, Geneva School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape—Archipelago: Architectures for the Multiverse is the first edition of a digitally-anchored international event arising from a partnership between three departments—architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture—that will be broadcast from May 6 to 8 in Geneva.

Gathering New Relations

Archipelago: Architectures for the Multiverse invites you to sit within a present state of general and perpetual trouble and look closely at its many components. Archipelago’s first manifestation is intended to be a pause for disaffiliated inquiry, bringing participants together on issues within and without contemporary design discourse, to investigate the range of possibilities namely for teaching and research. The event proposes an approach based on archipelagic thinking as a reaction to the dominance of continental modes of investigation.

Structured over three days, Archipelago employs a series of prompts to conceptualize concrete paths forward. The program begins by taking stock of the current state of interiors, architecture and landscape practice, proceeds to charting the emergent and newly-visible, and concludes by considering methods, models, and dissemination. These conversations are framed by and disseminated from the context of Geneva city, an urban center within the multinational milieu of Switzerland. They will be presented through a purpose-built scenography, which is itself an archipelago of variant capacities, connected and interwoven by the activity of online and in-person participants.

Archipelago: Architectures for the Multiverse began as a partnership between HEPIA and HEAD. It is intended as an experimental ground for participants to break with academic genealogies and bring disparate margins into relationship. We eagerly invite you to join us in Geneva to observe and participate in the formation of a new archipelago.

¹ Introduction à une poétique du divers, Paris, Gallimard, 1996.