INSULAR_Fluid Territories

INSULAR_Fluid Territories
NEXUS_Bangkok Design Week 2023 NEXUS NEXUS, is an independent floating platform for electronic music events in Bangkok
Exploring Insularity: Unveiling Innovative Architectural Interventions in Alternative Territories

Berlin, Germany, London UK
ARCANE_We research the potential of nature through the lens of creativity, ingenuity and technology
Team members
Stefano Dal Piva
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Photography, Curating, Research
Project category
Project submitted

Arcane is a space for conceptual thinking applied to creative expression. Operating between London Berlin and Bangkok but operating globally. Arcane focuses on the creative potential of nature as a material over a spectrum of design disciplines and across scales pursuing synthesis and abstraction.
Arcane was established in 2018 by Alexandra Polyakova and Stefano Dal Piva
Stefano Dal Piva studied architecture in Venice, Helsinki and Vienna. Stefano has delivered award winning architecture projects from conception to completion at a wide range of scales from master planning to product design. As director at ACME in London he focuses on architectural systems and languages that deal with issues of place and identity and environment.
Alexandra Polyakova studies architecture and art in Odesa, Vienna and Berlin. Beside her career as an architect Alexandra pursues an artistic career. Her work explores the introspective relation between the human self and the natural environment where photography is combined with spatial installations. She is also active in organizing yearly educational workshops for architecture students across Europe tackling social and urban issues through theoretical explorations and practical interventions.
As Arcane Stefano and Alexandra have successfully delivered a number of projects funded by cultural programmes in Bangkok (Thailand), Potsdam (Germany), Tuled (Estonia).
Alexandra is currently based in Bangkok and full time instructors at INDA (International Programme for Design and Architecture) at the Chulalongkorn University.
Stefano is currently based in London where he practices as an architect at ACME

The concept of insularity, often linked with islands and isolated regions, offers a unique chance to rethink architectural and design interventions. This research aims to explore the potential of insular spaces and alternative territories as innovative sites for architectural experimentation and creative expression. Building on previous explorations in Bangkok, the project now focuses on Europe, particularly the phenomenon of insularity across the continent. Through collaborative efforts, including research studio trips, exhibitions, and publications, the project aims to highlight the untapped potential of insular spaces and their role in reimagining living environments. By involving students in the research process, it seeks to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and push the boundaries of traditional architectural practice.

The project began with the "Acqua Alta" research trip in 2023, involving students from Chulalongkorn University's INDA International Programme. This trip focused on water and insularity, using Venice and the Veneto region as case studies. Insights from this trip led to the creation of NEXUS, a floating platform showcased at Bangkok Design Week 2024 for electronic music events. NEXUS highlights water surfaces as new territories for habitation and expression, aiming to raise awareness of their potential.

Methodology: The research will use a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating architecture, urban planning, geography, and cultural studies. It involves research studio trips to insular European regions like coastal communities, river islands, and remote villages, complemented by field studies, interviews, and documentation. Collaborative exhibitions and publications will share the findings and engage a wider audience.