Toward an Architecture of Suspension: Promiscuous Collisions of Transient Cartographies

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Many political experts argue that we have tried too hard to fully resolve international and geopolitical conflicts by trying to negotiate full and lasting resolutions. International crises are dangerous episodes that are destabilizing not only to those directly involved but also to the entire international community. Long and exhaustive methods aimed at negotiating conflicts to end crisis have not been effective and have resulted in deaths and human suffering that may not have been necessary. What is evident is that international conflict is increasing and has rendered the world as a more dangerous place to live and has exposed future generations to greater peril. A growing number of experts in the United Nations diplomatic community contend that the best and the most expeditious way to end deadly violence in the world is to suspend conflict, to promote and extend a suspension of conflict, rather than seeking to overcome it. This thesis will investigate and explore the ways in which qualities of architecture can assist the suspension of deadly conflict. I am interested in discovering how architecture can help diminish the intensity and scale of conflict by creating a place where constructive talks between conflicting parties can be best carried out. How can architecture help to achieve a greater comfort between conflicted parties when searching for a less threatening ground? Can architecture foster greater empathy between adversaries?