Medusa City: A minority run Design Institute in Postcolonial Milieu
Najla Mohideen, Hamida
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In the face of the tremendous onslaught of global imperialism, it is crucial for the third world city to assert its existence beyond the designation as a mere node in the `World Wide Web'. This thesis breaks away from the general positivist, reductionist gaze to appropriate Helene Cixous' articulation of the Medusa to represent this misunderstood ethos. The laughing Medusa revels in third world complexity and hybridization, thereby effectively bypassing the smoothening tendencies of the dialectic and allowing for a battlefield of unresolved conflicts. Life here emerges from the equilibrium of death, fertilizing itself with the morbid dregs of decay and energy flows of social, historical and economic gradients. The thesis looks at the postcolonial city as a synthesis of hermeneutic experience at a human scale; the site as a slice of glorious urban complexity and addresses how established knowledge systems can be redefined to include a cacophony of marginalized voices and hence, to better suit this ethos. The proposed design school is a culmination of this process on multiple levels as it seeks to break traditional boundaries and forge new networks, thereby enabling a distinct language of representation and empowerment.
- Architecture