Your farm is completely surrounded by a foreign country because the king lost it in a game of cards. You live in Cooch Behar.
You are eating at a cafe when you are informed that it must close. If you’ll just shift to a table in the other country, service is still available. This café is in Baarle/Hertog.
You work in the mayor’s office. Down the hall is a parallel mayor’s office with a whole mirror set of city officials to govern the other half of your city. You work in Texarkana.
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We believe that a great deal can be learned by investigating the strange edge cases of the world. Border towns are the extreme edge of where geography and politics collide. They throw the abstractions of governance into sharp physical relief. They are a fertile site for investigation into questions of security, freedom, architecture, immigration, trade, smuggling, sovereignty, and identity.
Border Town is a 10-week, multi-participant collaborative design studio that will investigate the conditions that surround life in cities situated on borders, divided by borders, or located in conflict zones. By investigating these strange specimens of political geography, we can begin to think and design about the interaction of legal and physical architecture and how these forces shape the built environment and the lives of the people living in it.