Jalur Sutra (The Silk Road)

Humans are creatures of stories. Narrative storytelling is a tradition used in many countries around the world to pass down knowledge, norms, and cultures. The significance of storytelling can be found not only in the way it shapes social values but also in how it creates the identity of a place. Stories can bring us closer to the place we live by revealing myths and meanings latent in the built environment.

This Entr’Acte is part of an architecture thesis exploring folklore as a form of cultural exchange, sustainability, and community-building. The video dramatizes movement through a proposed multicultural storytelling venue, the Cocoon, designed for Winnipeg’s Exchange District. The animated scenes enact the path of metamorphosis and events of exchange along the Cocoon’s ‘silk road’ or Jalur Sutra (in Indonesian).

In the Cocoon, exchange happens between the curious – people who are new to a culture, and the virtuoso – people who have great cultural knowledge. With spaces to study, to make, and to celebrate, the Cocoon is designed to create cultural sustainability by exchanging knowledge and traditions through various performing art and folk traditions, including puppetry of various types and scales.

Folk stories are incorporated not only into the programing, but also materially into the walls and architectural elements. The transparency of the design further enhances the performative exchange between storytellers in the building and the surrounding city. Thus, the Cocoon becomes a fertile and life-giving node of the silk road. It provides a place to gather and transform the curious into a virtuoso, while performing as the backstage of a city theater, celebrating and radiating hope of multicultural communities. This theatre of intercultural imagination strives to deepen curiosity, inspire hope among immigrants, and shape a more inclusive city.

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Bio of artist:

Andria Langi is an Indonesian designer and storyteller. She is a believer that stories of people, space, and place are the key to reach an inclusive environment. She is interested in exploring architectural experience in various art forms to create placemaking and community engagement. Her curiosity is mostly expressed in illustration and video. Andria has created and directed ‘Project Uncover’, a collaborative project of film, visual art, and music that promotes the importance of heritage preservation in Bandung, Indonesia. She has also created animations for The Canadian Architecture Forums on Education, or CAFÉ Initiative, in 2020. She is currently completing her last year as a Master of Architecture student at the University of Manitoba.

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Theatres of Architectural Imagination Frascari Symposium V