• Territories of Territory Extraction: Exploring the New Politics of Material in Southeast Asia
    Galen Pardee

Jurong Petrochemical Facility and Tuas Megaport (under construction) as of 2017. Photo: BusinessKorea, 2017.

Territories of Territory Extraction explores the Singapore Strait: a unique geographical pressure point in the international sand trade, an area where the intersection of economics, environmentalism, and geopolitics is made manifest through architecture. Singapore is the largest global importer of sand, using aggregate for landfill, infrastructure, and cultural projects to maintain the city-state's high standard of living and international influence. Territories of Territory Extraction proposes a living map of the sand trade in the Singapore Strait, creating a resource that cross-references and tracks past and future geopolitical and spatial changes. The project also looks forward, interviewing experts in architecture and material science, creating connections and proposing alternatives to sand-based construction in the region and beyond. Singapore's tale should be a cautionary one. Territories of Territory Extraction examines a future that has arrived ahead of schedule, and lays the groundwork for architecture in an era of scarcity.

Galen Pardee is a designer, educator, and researcher based in New York City. He received his BA from Brandeis University and an MArch from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Since graduating, he has taught in the advanced design studios at Columbia University and led design teams for institutional and cultural clients in New York City and California. Focusing on the intersection of architecture, geopolitical machinations, material economy, and the character of designed objects, his work has been exhibited in both the United States and overseas. His previous research, “Transcending Citation,” documented the methods and effects of security, propaganda, and religious agendas driving urban planning in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. This project was supported by Columbia University and published in the Avery Review.