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The Borders they are A-Fadin'

In 1972 Rem Koolhas published his thesis project at the AA, called Voluntary prisoners of architecture. Inspired by his findings of the Berlin Wall, the project proposes a condition of freedom by self-imprisonment. London is divided into two parts: The Good City and the Bad City. The Good City is represented by a built strip that crosses London indifferently and contains between its walls a desirable metropolis in which people search for refuge voluntarily. Migration for a higher standard of living. Fast forward almost 50 years ahead: The Berlin Wall, which inspired the project, is long gone, but so is the mirage of a borderless, global community that followed its fall. All around the world, professionals are employed to develop high-tech deterrents. At the same time, the advent of the internet and the global united economies redefines the stability of these new limitations. The New Iron Curtains might manage to keep us contained, but that hilarious cat GIF was sure to make it through.

In his research, Koolhaas was surprised to discover that the Berlin Wall was, in many cases, not a wall at all but rather an agglutination of different urban limits. Similarly, nowadays, the physical presence of a wall has changed its meaning. 


So what are borders, and how are they changing? 


[1] Exodus or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture by Rem Koolhaas

[2] Border wall mock-ups at the USA - Mexico border

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