The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19

Andrés Jaque and Ivan L. Munuera

COVID-19 has triggered material, relational, and performative transformations around the world. Climate crisis, transspecies displacement, and the destruction of both human and non-human habitats announce a growing acceleration of pandemic outbreaks. The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19—a collaborative project developed by Andrés Jaque and Ivan L. Munuera along with the Office for Political Innovation—tracks how coronavirus, its contagion, and its responses are enacted through space. 

COVID-19 has not been a global crisis, even though it has happened all around the world. There is an uneven balance of power within different nations that has affected humans and non-humans in very different ways: socioeconomic circumstances affect the way coronavirus and its responses are embraced in different communities. It does not affect in the same way people with access to universal healthcare than those with a lack of resources. Architecture thereby assumes the form of an expanded spatial practice that involves a set of economic, social, cultural, and ecological questions that transcends its traditional disciplinary field.

The film shows how architecture is assembled across scales. Architecture as a medium where social control, inequality, and environmental violence is now disputed. The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19 interrogates territorial divides, the condition of migration and the making of refugeeness, old and new geometries of colonialism, tax justice, access to healthcare, racism and xenophobia, warfare rhetoric, surveillance, urban infrastructures, public spaces, and borders. But also; entanglement, cooperation, inventiveness, engagement, and emerging forms of togetherness.