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The Ethereal City of Pink

Part 2 Project 2020
Ian Mun
National University of Singapore | Singapore
In 1993, the American Natural Soda Ash Corporation fabricated a rumour that soda ash produced by Botswana Ash (Botash) in the Sowa mining district was impure due to the pink colouration of its salt brines. The thesis is built around a speculative ecological landscape which celebrates the denigrated shade of pink. It is created in an environment of salt, sorghum, algae and flamingos – ecological agents which now sustain the pink archipelago within which this thesis proposal emerges.

The Ethereal City revives native Batswana myths, fables and folklores in its practices. It capitalises on the shades of pink in the seasonal variations of dry and wet so that these natural and ecological constructs become embedded into an architectural narrative and experience. Within each season, the city burst to life in a different shade of pink.

The pink city regards tourism not just as an alternative source of revenue but projects a global image about colour in the larger context of Africa. The colour pink is also ultimately a shorthand for a Batswana identity that speaks of independence and deference from the clutches of mass industrialisation that has defined the future and past of these fragile salt plains.

Ian Mun

Lilian Chee
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