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Design as Scholarship
Fluid Territories: Cultivating Common Practices Through the Design of Water Redistribution
Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thün
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In the Paso del Norte at the US-Mexico border, water—as an agent of geopolitics, commodification, and social reproduction—produces charged physical spaces and asymmetrical material realities in the borderland. While the waters of the Rio Grande and the rapidly diminishing aquifers contribute to the reproductive capacity of land within the desert climate, it is the infrastructures of water supply, sanitation, and flood control that reproduce sociospatial injustices and imbalances. Drawing on discourses and techniques that aim to redirect complex systems toward alternative societal ends, a studio design project attempts to remap the potential agency of water as shared matter and to rethink forms and formats of emergent urban infrastructure.

Keywords: unbuilt, architecture, society/politics, environmental systems, infrastructure.

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