The Orang-orang and the Hutan: Architectures, Anthrosols, and other Medias of the Inhabited Forest

8 November 2018 | 6pm

Kensington and DAR 612

Free, but please book

Addressing intersectional knowledges and spatial structures entangled within social and ecological tensions of a forest under fire, The Orang-orang and the Hutan: Architectures, Anthrosols and Other Medias of the Inhabited Forest – a new project within the RCA’s MA Environmental Architecture Programme – will interrogate bio-resources through specific, elemental materials and processes that comprise the inhabited forest. In step with the global push for ‘clean’ energy, prolific development and availability of new technologies, along with expanded networked territories and network capacities, are rapidly reconfiguring traditional methods and communities of resource extraction. Increasing access to global production networks and commodity chains alter traditional structures of exploitation and unlock new resource markets. These markets actively reorganise relationships – seen and unseen – across vast territories of resource-rich terrain. Driven by a growing demand for and investments in palm oil and other bio-industrial cash crops coupled with carbon-storage trading initiatives, the exploitation of such regions has intensified rapidly in recent decades. Misunderstood, complex forest ecologies and insufficient data contribute to poorly enforced regulatory policies. In this context, local indigenous tribes have turned to new technologies to operationalise opportunity and resistance. 

The Environmental Architecture project reckons with both real costs and potential opportunities created by planetary urbanisation. Refuting the common notion of export product as commodity through an examination of the materials of the environments that produce them, this event marks the launch of a four-year research project endeavouring to design operational research methods capable of empowering and shifting momentums of the social, spatial, and ecological processes and relations that create these fertile materials as a means to decolonise ideas of conservation and valuation of the inhabited forest. 

This event has been organised by the Environmental Architecture Programme. Please contact Patricia Forbes for more information.