Non_Fictional Cities
International Studio

Coordinator: Professor Justyna Karakiewicz


This short elective focused on the development of visual documentation of cities around the world after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since March 11 when pandemic officially has begun, multiple ways have been adopted to address measures of confinement, quarantine or isolation, by different national and local governments around the world. The stage of emergency that the pandemic imposed, encourage us to adapt, built and inhabit a new social context, dependant on new technologies

The question we asked was: What comes next?

We collaborated with schools around the world, including:
University of Los Andes
Architectural Association
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Universidad de Buenos Aries
Universidad Central de Venezuela
Universidad de Monterrey
Universidad Simon Bolivar
South China University of Technology

Each school was asked to propose a trigger for students to respond to.

MSD triggers were: Ruined by Design; Don’t Blame Pangolins; and Coupled Urban and Natural Systems.

The brief given to MSD students was:
Revolutions are never easy, but sometimes necessary. For years now, we have been responding to discovery of profoundly disturbing consequences of climate change with evolutionary responses. We have become immune to increasingly challenging environmental disasters like bigger fires, wider flooding, longer droughts, extensive famine, many of which are not widely reported. What doesn’t affect us it doesn’t upset us. But Covid-19 managed to disturbed everyone. Both the poor and the very rich suffered. The lives as we knew will never be recovered. It takes a significant disturbance like the Covid-19 pandemic to make us realised that we have irreconcilable shortcomings in our established frameworks and we desperately need a paradigm shift, a fundamental change in our mindsets. This change must start with a gripping idea.  One of the deep problems has been the increasing abrasion between urban living and natural systems. Inspired by Haggard’s book on ecological urbanism we propose, therefore, invert the more usual phrasing of what can nature do for the city and ask instead what can the city do for nature? Our enquiry, however, will move beyond ecological urbanism to consider the consequences of our actions on the environment when we design in isolation with disregard of the environment. We hope by this that we will stop blaming pangolins for spread of the virus (or other trite assignments of blame) and will take closer look at what we have done to facilitate the rapid ascendency of Covid-19.

The aim of this elective was to build an Atlas of the Non-Fictional City, which resulted in exhibitions around the world and publications.

View the entire exhibition on Miro: _Non_Exhibition

non_fictional cities issuu
View Catalogue (on issuu)

Architecture 2020_summer