International Competitions in Architecture
Evolution of Revolution
The limits of dreaming
Humanity has been through different and numerous stages of evolvement. None knows what the future will bring but at the same time, while we all struggle between problems, we “dream” of a better future. This tendency which some people may also refer as fantasy is what keeps the world going on.
Humans are part of nature. A nature that even though it’s fulfilled with beauty never stops being dangerous and chaotic. The most obvious difference between humans and the rest life forms of nature is that we are able to communicate. But is this the only ability that “makes us unique”? In this so difficult question we can at least try and give the answer “No”. People are special because they are a living creation of emotions and feelings that change rapidly through time and under the affection of different parameters and factors of the surrounding environment. Even if someone hasn’t been taught under some kind of school or teacher about these things, sooner or later he/she will be able to feel and express these emotions and feelings. Besides the materialistic nature human is the only being that can guide his actions by emotions and feelings.
The modern society, as it is formed through the passage of time, is a hodgepodge of evolutions. Evolution in transport made us come more and more together and the creation of shorter distances made a huge question mark between what is necessity and what is not. Evolution in technology and science made our time more precious and us in some way more secure and even also fragile and lazy. Evolution, evolution, evolution… Everything evolves. Nothing stays the same and stable. Even the search of power and to rule has evolved through time. But evolution had also its bad impact to humans. We are now overruled by the feelings of materialism; we are seekers of resources and the worst of all money. Small hopes and expectation’s arrive when people start thinking only about money. The only way to become psychologically satisfied is by being good consumers…
The modern generations don’t face anymore the insecurity of someone being violent with them. The modern way of having power and rule someone is by being an exceptional financial manager. If you are able to control the banks and the money-making-machine then you are able to control everyone, even the violent implementation of physical power, such as armies. At the first prehistoric societies the ruler used to be the one who used to be more physically strong. Then over the ages small kingdoms were created and also slowly empires made their appearance. The only difference was the creation of democracy. There is no need to try to explain more the evolution of power but what is interesting to point out is that this time even though we think we live in democratic societies, practically we live under neo-imperialism. People elect someone but this someone always follows the word and the will of another someone who is superior of him (this is called bank or multi industry or natural resources owner). Democracy is a circle where each and everybody have equal distance from the center, a center which represents the one voice for all. The imperial society’s shape used to be a pyramid where classes are created under the top of the one and only ruler (the king or emperor). Therefore the modern neo-imperialistic society is a form of two connected pyramids one equal to the imperialistic society and another one which is reversed, extremely smaller and above the previous one. It’s like a shape of a deformed hourglass.
But this hourglass due to the asymmetry and the pressure of the bigger pyramid, when it turn around will cause the smaller pyramid to brake. This is what we are experiencing today. People can no longer suffer and the ruler of few. As the Spanish people said “we want real democracy”. All of us want equality. There can’t be anymore someone to control the wishes and the dreams of the masses. People as they have the right to speak freely the have also the right to dream with no limits. This days we are facing the time when the limits of dreams collapse.
Spring in Desert. The new era of Egypt and the reformation of Tahrir Square.
Over the next generations there will be many people who will seek answers and will categorize all those reasons which emerged the so called “Arab spring”, but how many of them at the present time, when these actions have started expanding and affecting the entire globe, have thought of how the world will and should go on? How we can seize the day and “grab” this unique opportunity to change things and refine the system? Why we want and we need to do that?
The documents, pictures and facts that we had for this research lead us to many conclusions and understandings about the so called spring. Tahrir square isn’t just a significant urban joint in the modern city of Cairo is way more than that. Is the place where people united their voice to fight against the rulers. Is the place where people united the common ground of making their dreams unlimited. Is the place of union.
What we want from this new Tahrir square is to become a living memory and image of the struggles and the fight of the people, a living existence of the protests. We want all the future generations not pass by such an important factor that scaled their ancestors life and in addition their own life too. People must drew their attention to this place and understand its significance and meaning.
Besides that we are trying not to stay in the scale of the Tahrir square’s only. Our intention is to articulate the project by giving first of all an overall approach of a more urban scale factor where Tahrir square will be the center meeting point where all power is gathered in a more democratic shape of evolving the city. In this way of thinking Tahrir will start expanding its affection. It will become a new born virus to the already existing system which spreads as an infection to the city and conquers all the living public spaces. Tahrir becomes a revolution generator.
As we mention our main target is to fantasize the future and not stay only in the present/past of the demonstrations. The protests are our guide to try to give to the people the essence that we need to extract ourselves from the lust of power, money and materials. We need to become more passionate about feelings and emotions and at the same time we need to start interact more on another. This square has also to become a reference for the future generation’s representatives (we try not to use anymore the word “leader”) that this symbol-square reacts as a Damocles’ sword and that at any time the representatives have to understand that power is to the people.
So Tahrir is a protesting generator which connects with other smaller or bigger public spaces to organize and gather the people. The expansion of its geometry is like bigger circles which grow more and more with a center at Tahrir square. The circle though doesn’t stay as the main shape where we find the connection between the rest of the spaces. We understand that the demonstrations took place not in houses or other private spaces but on the streets and that way plazas and other free, not built, spaces are the gathering points which will lead step by step to the heart of action, the Tahrir square. Clarifying the geometry of connoting these spaces we find that it really interesting to interfere with the already infrastructure of the city’s roads and streets. This can become a leading geometry which under certain influences can create unique elements within the overall city’s volume.
Moreover we want to interfere with the general city’s factor and surrounding environment such as the central, vertical, water axis of the Nile River, the central island connecting east and west, with the touristic spots and elements such as the hotels and the big parks and green spaces in contrast with the desert surrounding.
In a more conceptual way the basic element of the new Tahrir Square will be the communication system of its own. The protests started not from TV or Radio or posters and advertisements within the city. There was a more interactive, instant a mobile way of spreading the news through Facebook and internet. Therefore as in the past the bells of the churches spread the news around the city in numerous occasions in Europe, now Tahrir will have a fundamental role to emerge people in case where someone tries to “break equality”. It will be a long lasting flame that never ends and which will light in case of emergency for all.
As ideas evolves so the city has to evolve too. Besides the theoretical change there has to be a practical change and therefore the city acquires a new layer over its existing one. It’s the layer of protest and revolution. A system that spreads all over town and meets in its core Tahrir square, an isolated place where only people and no cars can get to. It is a layer which breaks slowly parts of the roads and brings higher elevations and bridges to the Tahrir square. So we can assume that the main point of the square is now formed as a system of a music hall, or a theater with its galleries and slope towards central stage on which people can rise and express their thoughts and feelings. The ground around the square breaks as an effect of pulse, united power and frequency of steps. Also another interesting part is that besides the verticality the hole system of the roads around the square gets lower of the ground like it is sinking and formatting a crater in which of course we need to adjust and maintain spaces which can be used as functions for the organization of the demonstrations. Finally our last intention is to maintain a chain between nature, concept and humans by trying to form the 4 elements nature according to Plato. So we represent earth in the form of ground, water in the sense of river Nile (who will also have an important role in the project), fire in the people’s-protestors will and wind in the pulse and volume of their roar.