Radical Rituals

Radical Rituals is an itinerant survey along the 45ºN parallel between 45°N 1°W and 45°N 35°E. It is a study of the inventiveness of everyday life, new spatial practices, and vernacular rituals that stimulate and nurture commons across Europe.

This project focuses on beings, situated scenarios, and collaborative actions in order to review current vocabularies and methods of spatial production. In the present socio-political situation, there is an urge to re-imagine the methods of spatial practice and pay attention to a more complex understanding of the interwoven relations between humans and non-humans and the effects of physical contexts. To do so, we follow an imaginary line: the 45ºN parallel. This line crosses Europe, from the Atlantic Coast to the Black Sea. Through field trips and interactions with local actors, we disrupt the line’s abstraction and challenge symbolic perceptions of reductive dichotomies such as the center/periphery, north/south, and east/west. This topographic approach allows us to study the 45ºN parallel through rituals, collective organizational structures, and non-commercial activities that address global topics like climate justice, gender, biodiversity, degrowth, and solidarity, providing the best possible responses from their local contexts.

More just spatial practices are to be found in the diversity and nuances of myriad space-making paradigms. These practices are named rituals because they strengthen the potential for collective action to reach systemic changes. They are labeled radical because they are highly transformative and point to possible futures. Good examples can inform our practice as architects, urban planners, and researchers.

How do we learn from existing spatial methods to transmit the qualities of distributed knowledge and enhance its potential for systemic change?

This investigation examines the rituals arising from actions and conditions across territories, focusing on spatial frameworks for conviviality. The methodology for this exploration is based on spatial analysis deployed across multiple scales: beings, actions, contexts, physical space, and interconnected interactions. Through traveling, this research expands networks and knowledge and enhances vocabularies and collaborations around Europe; it reassesses our practice by assimilating and adapting existing local techniques and solutions and developing non-disciplinary learning methods.

From the shared experiences that emerged from the research and workshops come a publication series:

Radical Rituals 45°N 1°W – 45°N 35°E

Radical Rituals is an ongoing exploration. The first iteration took place during the summer of 2021 in the context of Romania. The second phase was developed in the summer of 2022 across France and in collaboration with Maison de l’Architecture Occitanie-Pyrénées in Toulouse, in the framework of the PERSPEKTIVE Fonds for Contemporary Art & Architecture of the Bureau des arts plastiques of the Institut français Germany, supported by the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut français Paris and the Goethe-Institut. The continuation of this iteration and the following phase will be developed in cooperation and with the kind support of Allianz Foundation.

  • Exhibition at la Maison de l'Architecture Occitanie — Pyrénées

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