Embedded in politically and economically charged sites in the Pearl River Delta, Mongolia, and the European Union, 51N4E (Johan Anrys and Freek Persyn) and Rural Urban Framework (Joshua Bolchover and John Lin) operate in expanded ecologies of architectural practice, questioning the role of the architect today. By collaborating with policymakers, local contractors, and NGOs, and by engaging their respective labs at ETH Zürich and the University of Hong Kong as key research locations, both offices investigate new forms of cooperation and dialogue as crucial strategies for design.
51N4E and RUF work at the seams of urbanization, with projects situated in transitional settlements in Ulaanbaatar, the rural regions of China, the transforming neighborhoods of Brussels, and Albania’s shifting public spaces. This publication compares their research and design processes in order to question the extents and certainties of architecture against backdrops of indeterminate notions of citizenship, unstable stages of urbanization, and insecure economies and ecologies.
The Things Around Us: 51N4E and Rural Urban Framework is co-published with the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal.