What is a camp? In August 2005, television news showed viewers an estimated 20,000 Katrina evacuees camped out in the Superdome, Cindy Sheehan protesting the Iraq War on President Bush’s doorstep in “Camp Casey,” Texas, and Israeli and Palestinian young people at the Seeds of Peace Camp in Maine discussing the evacuation of settlement camps in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, off camera, summer campers all over America packed up their gear, preparing to depart Scout camps, computer camps, and sports camps, and millions of recreational vehicles owners were on the road, permanent itinerant campers.
In Camps, Charlie Hailey examines the space and idea of camp as a defining dimension of 21st-century life. The ubiquity and diversity of camps calls for a guidebook. This is what Hailey offers, but it is no ordinary one. Not only does he establish a typology of camps, but he also imbeds within his narrative a key to camp ideology. We see how camp spaces are informed by politics and transform the ways we think about and make built environments. Hailey describes camps of diverse regions, purposes, and forms, and navigates the inherent paradoxes of zones that are neither temporary nor permanent. Today camps are at the centre of emerging questions of identity, residency, safety, and mobility. Camp spaces register the struggles, emergencies, and possibilities of global existence as no other space does.
Charlie Hailey is Assistant Professor at the University of Florida’s School of Architecture. He is also the author of Campsite: Architectures of Duration and Place (Louisiana State University Press, 2008).
This lecture is a joint collaboration between the Department of Landscape Architecture, the Master in Deisgn Studies Program (Urban, Landscape, Ecology concentration) and the Urban Theory Lab.
Charlie Hailey, University of Florida
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