This project explores the ways of thinking about hinterlands – territories of production supporting urbanisation processes. It analyses the area of West Macedonia, Greece, which today exists as an energetic landscape. Profit-oriented schemes of capitalism through subordination and functionalization has led to the marginalization of hinterlands and, in the end, will eventually lead to exhaustion.
After 66 years of lignite extraction, the industry is planning to phase out coal combustion. With the economy highly dominated by mining, this decision has had an extensive impact on the region. To understand it, as well as the events that have led to the current state of transition, the essay examines it through temporalities – interwoven timeframes.
The design proposal cuts through various scales, indicating a new direction for the region with a collection of three interventions of different temporalities, scales, and materials, relating back to the context of the place, ecology, socio-economic forces, and the people.
It states that the hinterland should remain in the state of flux, but in a more balanced, and less profit-oriented manner. It embraces the process of the transition, that naturally affects both the environment, as well as the architectural interventions. It focuses on identifying points of intensification, integrating the necessary steps into existing conditions, as well as looking into what change it would bring over a long period of time.
Proposed interventions highlight certain aspects, their influence is acupunctural, highlighting certain moments as points of intensification. By doing this the project touches a particular place at a specific moment, becoming a point of ignition. However, this is the first step. In contrast to the paradigm of speed of the technological acceleration, the effects of future transformation will be slow and subtle, requiring the active and sustained engagement of long-term partnerships between the inhabitants, and public sectors, with much greater attention to various visible and non-visible layers. Therefore, the project is a small gesture that suggests the direction in which the ongoing continuum of the hinterland should evolve.