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Research Studio

Imagined Future Citizenship across Great Lakes

The project is more like an unrealistic story dealing with the issues of refugees residing in our neighborhood and tackling it with the Urban critical thinking approach. As an individual, it is not possible to find solutions to every situation but to understand the stakes of the surroundings and having a critical eye towards their effects on different people, spices, nature, economy, and other such arrays, analyze the situation and try to make an argument as researcher/academics. We are swimming in all this readily available information, but it is important to take our own stance, express our own assumptions. In this project, I felt the necessity to consider that we are under technologically equipped time and are bound with strict laws and regulations. But it is not affecting the common man as much as it is affecting refugees. They are not criminals, they are just trying to live a free life and have an identity. Is it really possible to resolve their lives with all the legal process? Maybe not! So why not design one such station which is Illegally legal. The Museum of Counter Ethnography!

The project focuses on a community of people, including immigrants and refugees, in the great lakes defined by the physical limitations and opportunities of communication technology and an array of surveillance systems along the us-Canada border.

This project reads communication technology as a network literally constructed in a grid of cell towers. The network crosses the national boundary and certain clusters of cell tower along the border can tap into both the country's network. These overlapping conditions create risk for refugees who are residing in refugee shelters, most of them are within the overlapping zone of 22 to 45miles can be tracked and possibly getting arrested through their cell phones.

The project focuses on the study of alternate geographies in 2 different eras: first, the Underground Railroad (the early to mid-1800s), and second, the contemporary 21st-century surveillance structure.

Inspired by the spatial and signal practices of the underground railroad, this project proposes that in the 21st-century unity island can become a site of covert for refugees, asylum seekers moving north.

By eluding contemporary technology and surveillance systems, unity island can be a site of hidden gateways of systems, responding to current homeland security, ICE and custom, and border protection as well as buffalo city police governance.

M.Arch 

Buffalo 

Fall 2019