Ukraine. Architectures of Emergency

Ukraine. Architectures of Emergency
An exhibition shows the spatial representation of the ongoing war in Ukraine due to the emergency response, tracing back to Russia's invasion in 2022.

Elena Orap
Lausanne, Switzerland
Team members
Estefania Mompean Botias
Elena Orap
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Visual Art, Curating, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Elena Orap is a Ukrainian architect, currently working at EPFL, Lausanne (arrived to Switzerland due to the war in Ukraine in 2022)
Elena Orap collaborates on the research project “Architectures of Emergency”, which investigates the agency of architecture in the current state of emergency in Ukraine through the reading of buildings and structures which appear during the conflict.
Together with Estefania Mompean Botias have completed the research project "Ukraine. Architectures of and turned it into an exhibition that was on display at the EPFL May 2-24th, 2023.

The exhibition is a recomposing of months of research in which authors have analyzed the spatial situations generated since the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, integrating diverse Ukrainian architects and researchers who have been developing inventive practices in this exceptional situation.
Elena Orap studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture and physics at Taras Shevchenko National University of Ukraine. She was practising architecture and design in various forms: designing spaces and objects, creating installations and curating art exhibitions. One of her interests focuses on mass housing in Ukraine with the connection to its material culture, the notions of identity, heritage and belonging, past, present and possible futures of the urban landscape. Her artistic project on mass housing SERIA__ had several exhibitions in 2022-2023, including ones in Zurich, London and Manchester.

UKRAINE. ARCHITECTURES OF EMERGENCY explores the spatial situations that have developed due to the emergency response, shedding light on the different scales and states of the conflict. From a spatial reading, the exhibition analyzes the ecological damage of war, the protocols of emergency, and the impact on the built environment. Here, the mass residential buildings, known as panelka buildings, have become a central metaphor for the fragility of the state's construction. In this way, the exhibition highlights various modes of built environment reconfigurations, considering both material and social aspects. Recognizing the indefinite state of the conflict, the show is a process of research and approach to a situation in constant redefinition, integrating diverse Ukrainian architects and researchers who have been developing practices in this exceptional situation.