Journal / Testing-Ground #2

The full issue of TESTING-GOUND is available online and in bookshops in London.

excerpt from: Wall, Ed, and Alex Malaescu. “Editorial.” Testing Ground, no. 2 (2019).

“What resides on the other side can cause fear, concern, intrigue, delight and fascination. Neighbouring and distant lands are destinations to visit, invade, occupy and separate ourselves from. Many national borders are marked with walls, fences and ‘Green Lines’ while others have been settled along rivers and mountains ridges – all are mapped, recorded and in different ways defended [2]. 

These socially, geographically and architecturally constructed states can appear to contrast with cities that draw diverse populations together. However, even open and heterogeneous urban settlements establish lines of segregation. Neighbourhood, district and community delineations expose what is and what is not included within spatial and political bounds, while shared spaces of streets and parks frame contestations across a range of scales [3]. 

The notion of ‘other sides’ can infer landscapes of opposites, described in dichotomies of here and there, inside and outside, them and us. But, as Jens Haendeler, Alex Ioannou and Anushka Athique reveal in their mapping of the ‘Calais Jungle’ [4], these geographies are marked by complex and temporal relations between individuals, communities, governments and corporations. These interrelations play out across contrasting scales of space, from individual bodies to international borders, creating multiple ‘other sides’ that overlap in contradictory ways [5]. How these landscapes are navigated become physical and political acts, experienced and constructed through daily lives, redefining relations with other people and framing struggles for the future of where we live. 

This second issue of TESTING-GROUND brings together thirteen international contributors who explore concepts, laws and spaces of ‘other sides’. Importantly, all of these articles are based on research conducted several years ago and many of them were written before the global events of the UK voting to leave the European Union and the election of President Trump in the United States of America. Reading the articles in this second issue of TESTING-GROUND in early 2019, it appears that the authors speak prophetically of the tension between landscapes produced through individual and societal frames and territories contested by nation states. “

Wall, Ed, and Alex Malaescu. “Editorial.” Testing Ground, no. 2 (2019)

[1] Cruz, T. 2005. From the global border to the border neighborhood. In: Public Space (Accessed 1 January 2019) 

[2] See articles by Carmel Keren (02.6), Léopold Lambert (02.1), Yiannis Papadakis (02.9) and James Nelson (02.5) 

[3] See article by Sophie Maguire (02.7) and article by Yael Bar- Maor, Haya Mani and Laila Murad (02.8) 

[4] See article by Jens Haendeler, Alex Ioannou and Anushka Athique (02.3) 

[5] See article by Iulia Fratila (02.4)

pnevma contributed one article and one interview to this second edition of Testing-Ground and has been involved as guest-editors.

Table of Contents

Editorial page 7 – by Ed Wall and Alexandru Malaescu 

02.1 page 9 – The Politics of Space and Bodies / Interview with Léopold Lambert 

02.2 page 13 – The Landscape Against the State – by Eyal Weizman, Forensic Architecture

02.3 page 17 Weaponised Landscapes: Mapping the Calais ‘Jungle’ – by Jens Haendeler, Alex Ioannou and Anushka Athique 

02.4 page 25 – Overlapping Territories: The case of the ‘irregular’ in the Maghreb – by Iulia Fratila 

02.5 page 35 – ‘The True North Strong and Free’ The consequences of indifference and the romanticization of Canada’s northern frontier – by James M. Nelson 

02.6 page 41 – Nauru: A Digital Voyage – The island of Nauru, as seen and unseen through the gaze of Google Street View – by Carmel Keren 

02.7 page 47 – The Makings of a Segregated City – by Sophie Maguire 

02.8 page 53 – ‘Atabet Al Bab’ (Threshold): A conceptual plan for a playground in East Jerusalem – by Yael Bar-Maor, Haya Mani, Laila Murad 

02.9 page 57 – Displacements of Nostalgia – by Yiannis Papadakis

TESTING-GROUND is a design research journal focused on research, experimentation and design of landscapes, cities and territories.  It provides a platform to critique established urban theory and a place to investigate emerging architectural, political and ecological concepts. The focus of each issue emerges from collaborative workshops which explore specific ideas and concerns.

TESTING-GROUND is published by the Advanced Landscape and Urbanism research group in the Department of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich, London. The Advanced Landscape and Urbanism research group is a platform for design and research of cities and landscape. The group encourages new approaches to researchand design experimentation, which investigate the everyday and the extraordinary spaces, environments and lives of our cities.