Cultural Resilience: Experiments in Performative Preservation

As displacement numbers are rising due to the acceleration of climate change, it is imperative to make explicit the increased cultural vulnerability of people fleeing from disasters. Cultural Resilience: Experiments in Performative Preservation explores the potency of art and design to advance the cultural resilience of the displaced populations in urban environments. Addressing problems of cultural infrastructures in the Zaatari refugee camp, a city of 80 000 people in Jordan as a research study, we propose to develop and test culturally sensitive tools, design forms, and creative processes that would help displaced communities to overcome adversity. To that end, we deploy the Performative Preservation method for the prototyping of Cultural Technologies.

Team: Associate Professor Azra Aksamija, MIT ARCH, Director, Future Heritage Lab; Melina Philippou, Programming Director, Future Heritage Lab; Natalie Bellefleur, Lead Design Researcher, Future Heritage Lab; Lillian Kology, Lead Artistic Researcher, Future Heritage Lab; Jonathan Kongoletos, MIT ARCH, Building Technology; Norwegian Refugee Council, Jordan; NRC Tailoring Unit, Zaatari Camp.

More information on MIT's Future Heritage Lab.

This research is funded by 2020 Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism Seed Grant.

IMAGE: T-Serai Prototype at MIT [Credit: Dino Rowan].

Spring 2019