Meet the residents: Rhiarna Dhaliwal

Rhiarna Dhaliwal is a British-Indian Architectural designer, researcher and educator whose work investigates environmental and political systems. Rhiarna currently co-runs the design studio, ADS8_Data Matter: The Gaming Edition in the school of Architecture at the RCA and is co-founder of the all-female design collective, Xcessive Aesthetics.

Meet the residents: Artem Nikitin

Artem Nikitin is an architect and researcher from Russia. He has worked on projects at different scales and at different stages, from conceptual drawings to construction supervision. His professional interests are the interrelations and interdependencies between urban policy and digital infrastructures, geospatial modelling, and complex adaptive systems.

Meet the residents: Connor Cook

Connor Cook is a researcher and designer from California, currently based in the Netherlands. His research is concerned with the spatial and material implications of the digital in the built environment. Connor has worked as a researcher for architecture firms in the US and the Netherlands, working on projects related to Life Cycle Analysis, sensor networks, and urban data governance.

Exhibition Format Editor by F451: Quentin Creuzet, Domitille Debret

The Exhibition Format Editor developed by F451 (Domitille Debret and Quentin Creuzet) automates the translation of the research conducted in Palazzo delle Zattere into exhibition form, constructing in the process a vocabulary around the concept of non-extractive architecture. The content developed by the research team will be organised and rendered visually by this software, and then printed and hung on the walls of V-A-C Zattere throughout the course of the project.

Non-Extractive Architecture on Dezeen

photo by Marco Cappelletti

Non-extractive architecture will be articulated through several parallel initiatives that will simultaneously activate V–A–C’s Palazzo delle Zattere on multiple levels, transforming it into a research lab in which we will work together with resident researchers who we’re recruiting through open calls. These parallel strands of research, residences, public programs, publishing and broadcasting will intertwine and overlap throughout the year, alternating levels of intensity, and will all be part of an exhibition that will take form and evolve over the course of the year. 

See Dezeen article on the link below:

Non-Extractive Architecture residency program

photo: Artem Nikitin

A group of ten selected residents together with Space Caviar will research case studies, materials, policies, and a network of individuals that will form an ongoing definition of non-extractive architecture. These references printed on sheets of paper and developed within the materials workshop will fill the palazzo as the research grows and expands over the year long program. Five residents have been selected for the current spring residency. The second set of residency program will begin this September 2021 – stay tuned for the open call launching in May 2021.

Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing without Depletion Vol.1

Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing without Depletion Vol.1 Edited by Space Caviar Published by V-A-C and Sternberg Press

This illustrated reference handbook sets out to find a new approach to architecture, one based on long-term thinking, material resources and their subsequent landscapes, and the integration of community values into the construction industry. Through a series of essays by architects, geographers, historians, economists, urbanists, and philosophers, Non-Extractive Architecture: On Designing without Depletion Vol.1 explores whether an alternative paradigm in design is possible, and what values it might be founded on.

Edited by Space Caviar with an introduction by Joseph Grima and contributions by Dele Adeyemo, Benjamin Bratton, Stephanie Carlisle, Emanuele Coccia, Keller Easterling, Swarnabh Ghosh, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Phineas Harper, Elsa Hoover, Jane Hutton, Interiors Agency, Elisa Iturbe, Luke Jones, Chiara Di Leone, Armin Linke, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Nicholas Pevzner, Maria Smith and Mark Wigley.

Published by V–A–C and Sternberg Press. 2021

You can buy the book here

On Designing without Depletion

Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Scales of Extraction, after Morphosis, 2-4-6-8 House Parts drawing

To design, to build, to shape the environment around us is an irrepressible human instinct. It is also an act of intrinsic optimism. The immense effort and cost that the production of architecture involves can only be justified by the idea that it will, in one way or another, make the world a better place. Every architect, as Rem Koolhaas once wrote, carries the Utopian gene.

This only makes it more difficult to face up to an uncomfortable fact: that our urge to produce architecture has become one of the most direct threats to our existence as a species. It is only now that we are becoming aware of the real cost of cheap concrete, the miracle material of modernity that is today one of the primary sources of CO2 emissions. Only now are we beginning to question the consequences of the speculative financialisation of the housing market, and the social crisis it has triggered on a global scale. And as of now we can only imagine the multitude of ways in which architecture will be deployed to reinforce the boundaries separating those most responsible for the climate emergency from those fleeing its worst consequences.

This is the dilemma facing architects. Is architecture intrinsically extractive? Is it predestined to be an instrument of social injustice and an accomplice in human extinction? Is there no alternative to the predatory overconsumption of manifestly finite resources? We believe not. But in order to escape this fate, architecture must be prepared to question itself on a much more fundamental level than it has ever done before.

Non-Extractive Architecture is a research platform investigating the material and social dynamics underlying the production of the designed environment, with the aim of encouraging architects to be both more responsible and more ambitious in their thinking as designers and custodians of the build environment. Over the course of one year we will examine the full spectrum of operations that making buildings involves, from material production to deconstruction, from funding to pricing, and from policy to planning. We will look to vernacular techniques and new technologies alike, in search of optimistic alternatives to current models of building which, more often than not, appear viable only because their true cost remains hidden.