Settling the Nomads

Incremental Change

Related Staff : Joshua Bolchover

Teaching Assistant: Matthew Hung

The Ger districts of Ulaanbaatar have no running water, sewerage, or adequate heating. In the winter, the air is thick with smog from coal burning stoves. Unemployment is high and alcoholism is rife. Yet, still the nomads keep coming to the city in search of a better life. The city government and national government are depleted of funds, meaning that large scale development plans are stalled and impossible to implement in the near future. Any projects that do take place are undertaken by the World Bank or various constellations of other NGO’s with local partners.

Given the urgency of the problems at hand, architecture is given a low priority. At stake however is the fundamental civic make-up of the city. Given the failure of top-down planning models, what is the role of the architect in this context? How can we create an alternative mechanism for the city’s future transformation?

This studio will design architectural insertions to implement and kick-start the future evolution of the Ger districts.

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