Doors to Ukraine. Designing for Urgency

Organizer: gta Exhibitions
Date: Tuesday, 3 October 2023 to Tuesday, 24 October 2023
Location: Foyer, HIL, Hönggerberg

Doors to Ukraine. Designing for Urgency
3. – 24. October 2023

Roundtable and exhibition opening: Tuesday, 3. October 2023, 6pm
«Reimagining the Architect's Role: How Does Practice Respond to War and Natural Disasters»
with Anna Dobrova, Anastasiya Ponomaryova, Adam Przywara, Momoyo Kaijima, Daniel Stirnimann and Philip Ursprung

The exhibition challenges a limited perspective on reuse and promotes a comprehensive approach to low-carbon, cost-effective, and urgently needed design. The selection of door, as a particular architectural element for this purpose is not coincidental; it holds the symbolic significance of a secure home and is urgently required for shelter provision in Ukraine for forcibly displaced people. How can we support ongoing refurbishment efforts in Ukraine through door reuse? And how can the quality of an upcycled door enhance a sense of home during times of uncertainty and forced displacement?

This challenging approach involves connecting with the target community in Ukraine, implementing innovative design solutions to address the challenges of the given materials in the new context, and practicing collective care. Architecture, viewed here as a critical success factor, is also a process.

CO-HATY is an ongoing initiative in Ukraine, led by the NGO "Metalab," that provides shared accommodation for over 700 forcibly displaced people. The team has been refurbishing abandoned buildings since April 2022 to house people from different cities affected by urbicide, occupation, and siege. While their vision for return varies, they all share the need for shelter for an uncertain period of time.

Due to shortages of local resources and financial support during the wartime, the international community provides items to the CO-HATY team. Among these partners, RE-WIN from Switzerland accumulates and delivers materials to Ukraine, while BRDA, TLO, and NIAiU in Warsaw identified the potential for adapting the given items through the power of design.

Anna Dobrova is an architect and cofounder of NGO “METALAB”.
Adam Przywara is an architectural historian and researcher. Currently he's a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Fribourg.
Momoyo Kaijima is an architect and professor of Architectural Behaviorology at ETH Zurich.
Daniel Stirnimann is an engineer and member of RE-WIN.
Philip Ursprung is an art historian and professor for Art and Architectural History at ETH Zurich.

Exhibition team
Anastasiya Ponomaryova is curator of the exhibition and an architect from Ukraine. She is co-founder of the CO-HATY project (active member April 2022 - November 2022) and research fellow the chair of Philip Ursprung.
Laura-India Garinois is an architect and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Pavlo Zabotin is an architect.
Viktor Kopieikin is an architect.
Warvara Yagnysheva is a graphic designer.

Supported by
Chair of Sociology, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich
MISTI Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - supported intern for summer internship
RE-WIN - accumulated materials for CO-HATY through their network
NGO Metalab - implemented given items from Switzerland in CO-HATY project
NGO Urban Curators - coordinated and fundraised for the delivery truck of donated items from Switzerland to Ukraine
Parity Talks - supported one-day workshop with ETH Zurich students and tutors from BRDA, TLO, and NIAiU in Warsaw

The roundtable and exhibition are organized by Anastasiya Ponomaryova in collaboration with the Chair of Philip Ursprung and gta exhibitions, ETH Zurich. The photo on the poster is by Stephan Lisowski ©Metalab and the graphic design by Teo Schifferli.