Hawai’i Non-Linear: A conversation with Chris Leong, Dominic Leong, Sean Connelly and others
A Research Studio conversation with Chris Leong, Dominic Leong, and Sean Connelly
In collaboration with the Architecture and Urbanism Group
Hawai‘i is the most remote landmass in the world on the frontier of the COVID and climate crisis. This talk aims to reintroduce the concept of Hawai‘i to the United States, technically and spiritually, as part of an ongoing exploration to empower indigenous Hawaiian knowledge, and the local ecologies of guardianship that Mary Kawena Pukui described as “utilizing the resources of sustenance to a maximum.”
The talk foregrounds US settler colonialism not as a singular historical event of the past but as a dynamic militarized system of occupation that continues to impose ecological devastation upon the Hawaiian Islands while perpetuating racial injustices against Hawaiian people (Kanaka Maoli). Whereas, the current grassroots efforts to restore the indigenous systems of land use, governance and cultivation contrast existing urbanism as well as the US military’s spatial occupations of the Pacific since 1898.
Importantly, Hawai‘i presents an example where indigenous knowledge is a lifestyle; a mountain-to-ocean connection; a nutrient system; a spatial configuration; a technology; and a way of interaction that is uniquely oceanic. Through the concepts of this work Hawai‘i Non-Linear suggests a new phenomenology for architecture and future possibilities of what it means to be an architect .