The character of the city itself can best be understood by what it tries to exclude
We have grown accustomed to the rhetoric about the inevitability and desirability of cities, which the current statistics about the draw of the urban seem to reinforce: “In 2050 more than 75% of the world’s population will live in cities,” The Endless City – Urban Age Project. But what are those moving to the city leaving behind?
The provocation of The Hinterlands Institute is to look closely at what is left out from the current habitual pre-occupations of architecture, to venture out into a territory usually left to its own devices…
Is it possible to be both rural and futuristic, even radical? Or is that reserved only for cities? The countryside seems to be developing in an accelerated way technologically, perhaps faster than the city itself, yet our understanding of it is lagging, as well as our cultural engagement and imagination. What scenarios, materiality and future folklores could emerge from the seasonal practices surrounding pivot irrigation systems, or from the deployment of drones and remote field sensing practices? What new social, civic and public spaces could emerge from the contemporary uses and morphologies of fields?
The Hinterlands Institute, in the form of a Research Laboratory, envisions ways in which architecture and spatial practice can be an instigator of transformation and change in such terrains – in both physical and ideological/social terms. Utilizing spatial prototypes, structures, tools, landscape practices and scenarios – collectively – the Institute will build up a Spatial Almanac of pragmatic yet sometimes necessarily eccentric propositions.