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The current exhibit in the Boone Family Art Gallery, “Localized Urban Environments of the Post Globalized World” features projects from architecture students that aim to reinvent societies to preserve global resources.

Beach Shelter by Zenan “Jimmy” Guo is a small scale model of functional beach housing that includes a life guard station, cafe, and has “openings for natural lighting, and harmonization between the enclosure and site.” (Courier/Rayna White)

Organized by architecture professor Coleman Griffith and faculty member Qasem Baouni, the exhibit touches on themes of innovation, conservation, and self-sustainability. Recently opened on August 25, the two main projects, “Floating Cities” and “Neft Dashlari” give the public an insight to the future direction of architecture as a resource and human conscious field.

“The exhibit is a discussion of possible scenarios of new forms of urbanism that might evolve in a post globalization world,” said Griffith.

Both “Floating Cities”, a conceptually flexible city within a ship, and “Neft Dashlari”, an agricultural housing system that doubles as a trade center in Azerbaijan, propose solutions to the challenges of a ‘post globalization world’ such as pollution, climate change, and excessive material waste. One instance of “Floating Cities” envisioned a hyperlocal garment design, fabrication, and distribution hub that houses designers from all reaches of the world. This mobile society would travel in order to stay ahead of trends and reduce the amount of outdated clothing that are destined for the garbage bin while participating in trades with other countries.

In contrast, “Neft Dashlari” is a stationary reinvention of agricultural housing since it’s built over the Caspian Sea instead of land. Due to its location and agricultural sustainability, trade with neighboring countries is a realistic possibility.

“This unusual feature provides architecture students with a new experience to be able to discover and become acquainted with foreign architectural typology,” said student Danial Muhfoud. “’Neft Dashlari’ pushes the boundaries and inspires innovative designs outside of the typical norm of fixed sites.”

Due to its location and agricultural sustainability, “Neft Dashlari” can trade with neighboring countries in order to build another key aspect of architecture: relationships.

Relationships hold importance in architecture since they “create a conversation to design with,” said Bauoni.

The exhibit examines political, social, and economic relationships and how these change when societies are restructured by the complex concepts of the projects. While these ideas may sound bizarre, they project possible images of what future societies may look like in a resource deprived world.

“Localized Urban Environments of the Post Globalized World” runs through September 19, with a reception to be held in the Boone Family Art Gallery located in the Center for the Arts on September 4 at noon.

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