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Joana Rafael (b.1979) is an architect, researcher, lecturer and ghostwriter, currently based in Porto, Portugal, working between architecture, (issues of) ecology and visual culture. She holds a PhD (2017) in Visual Cultures and an MRes (2009) in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MA (2008) from the Metropolis Graduate Programme in Architecture and Urban Culture, run by the Centre for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona and a degree (2002) in Architecture from the University of Minho, Guimarães. Joana teaches Contextual Studies and Contemporary Culture -related courses, and is a member of ID+ (Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture) and CEGOT (Center for Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning). Joana is also a certified sustainable agriculture and biological farming practitioner.

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Building Risk Reserves

Toward a Theory of de Facto and Fictional Conservation(ist) Regimes

Held / Published in Escuelita, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid, Spain

This paper 1. problematises the construction of the planet through the logic of the reserve; 2. attempts to construct a theoretical framework necessary to address the way of managing and organising (things in) space exposing architecture and the reserve fragile limits and, ultimately, cementing them as fictions; and 3. calls for new methodological approaches.
Reserve arrangements intended to act as architectural solutions; agents or safeguards for the future and safety of (human) life on the planet, contrarily to what they are set out to do, have created a unique geography of problematic and open, rather than closed and controlled spaces. In recent years, interest in these spaces has made visible the vulnerability of our general laws of action upon the planet and in relation to the future. This interest is increasingly related to the fact that many extant reserve arrangements have resulted in the production of unwelcome situations. However, and most ironically, it increasingly relates to the fact that many of these very arrangements are nonetheless still presented as solutions to offer environmental and ecological security and safety.
In this paper, I will explore how these reserve arrangements are informed by: 1. present/real dangers; 2. (inspired by campaigns) destined to cope with our fears and hopes and to guarantee a future free from risk; and 3. mobilized as means to impose limits with limits of its own. To do so, I will describe forms of housekeeping that extend to the whole planet, and that are helpful to understand the struggle for security undertaken via reserve arrangements.


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