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Stories on Earth

Stories on Earth combines storytelling and design to subvert the human/non-human dichotomy. Inspired by the different ways cultures look at the non-human, Failed Architecture (FA) opens up the possibility of imagining radically different worldviews, conceiving humans as part of an integrated ecological system that could easily function without us. For the project, writers Karin Lachmising, Mizt aan de Maas, and Bassem Saad, and designers Anna Maria Fink, Angelo Renna, and Ameneh Solat,i were asked to reflect upon three spatial types that embody the relationship between human and non-human: the botanical garden, the zoological garden, and the natural history museum. Combining the make-believe quality of storytelling with the hands-on approach of design, Failed Architecture wish to translate multispecies perspectives into possible scenarios.

Failed Architecture

Failed Architecture reconnects architecture with the real world by opening up new perspectives on the built environment and exploring the meaning of architecture in contemporary society. FA has provided an inclusive podium for critical urban discourse since 2011, fuelled by unconventional narratives from international contributors.

Architecture continues to fail because we are stuck in a global economic system that puts profit above everything else, reproducing social and political conditions that undermine people’s control over their built environment. Meanwhile, the media reduces the design of society to a spectacular image, resulting in the public's shallow understanding of what architecture is and what it can be.

FA challenges dominant spatial fashions and explores alternative realities, reaching far beyond the architectural community. The platform combines personal stories with research and reflection, always remaining committed to the idea that architecture is about social and climate justice, pop culture and subculture, representation and imagination, and everything that happens after a building has been built. Failed Architecture is an independent Amsterdam-based foundation operating worldwide.

Guus Beumer, artistic director Het Nieuwe Instituut
Francien van Westrenen, head of Agency Het Nieuwe Instituut
Afaina de Jong, architect and researcher; Debra Solomon, artist and researcher
Richard Niessen
Laura Pappa, Robert Milne
Juan Arturo García
Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer City of Amsterdam; Huda AbiFarès, graphic design and co-editor
Mike Emmerik, Simone Rots, Independent School for the City
Lada Hršak, Bureau LADA; Chiara Dorbolò and Daphne Bakker, Failed Architecture; Tymon Hogenelst and Jesse van der Ploeg, Studio Wild