Post-Disaster ‘Memoryscapes’: Architectural Mediums as Practices of Care
Keywords:3.11 Disaster, care, COVID-19, disaster, Japan
This essay enters the COVID-19 pandemic activated discourse by drawing parallels to the architectural response to the ‘3.11 Disaster’ in Tohoku, Japan as a lens to reflect on architecture’s broader response-ability towards matters of human displacement, collective trauma, loss, and memory. It explores the notion of burn-out through the scope of disaster-stricken Japan and examines three cases of architectural and curatorial projects to illustrate architectural skills and media—drawing, model-making and fieldwork—which were characteristically deployed in the aftermath of disaster towards addressing collective trauma, instigating community transformation through conversational platforms and trust-building. These platforms are referred to as post-disaster memoryscapes, to illustrate the result of fusing community collaboration with architectural mediums in a distinct ethnographical mode capable of reconciling past, present and future. The paper argues that such ethnographical modes of operating expand architecture’s role from a limited sense of building (re)construction, towards the Harawayian notion of sympoietic caring.
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