laba Studio ICELAND 2014/15


Laba dedicated the academic year of 2014/15 to the investigation of Iceland’s industrialisation process. The beauty of this inhospitable and deserted paradise triggers a lot of curiosity and fascination and the particular geology of this oceanic island, which emerges from underwater, provides a sublime, quasi extra-terrestrial landscape, as well as substantial energy resources. Recently, its long-standing tradition of maritime industry has shown increasing signs of instability and, consequently, there has been a shift towards an economical strategy focused on energy exploitation while, at the same time, the country has been increasingly targeted for tourism development. Unfortunately, up until now, industrial infrastructures in Iceland have been solely designed by engineers as mono-functional entities. We strongly believe that the development of this sector should be orchestrated by architects (in collaboration with other disciplines), in order to achieve a coherent and sustainable roadmap that is able to address wider problematics. Therefore, studio laba will explore opportunities to create new forms of integration between construction, resources, tourism, maritime and agriculture industries and the physical context, which is unique to this geologically active territory. Through design proposals as well as valuable research, we will try to answer the following questions: What kind of programs could be added in order to install vital multifunctional synergies between industries and the context? Which dynamics would be necessary for the co-habitation of infrastructure and existing eco-systems? How can we imagine the industrialization and urbanization of such a sublime landscape? How to design site-specific industries?