The Urban Environment: Mirror and Mediator of Radicalisation

The Crumlin Courthouse

This research project, by Ralf Brand at Manchester Architecture Research Centre, is inspired by the assumption that societal polarisation (incl. political radicalisation) is not an a-spatial or a-material phenomenon. Polarisation takes place in streets, apartments, shops or parks and it is materially reflected in fences, buildings, territorial markers etc. But walls, bridges, buildings etc. also exert a gravitational pull on people’s perception and behaviour, for example the decision which playground to prefer, where to hide in the event of trouble and the likeliness of meeting ‘others’. In short, social conditions and urban environments shape each other. Belfast, Beirut, Berlin and Amsterdam are explored as sites of contestation and radicalisation. Ralf gives an overview of the project in this clip

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