Designers: Malkit Shoshan, Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST) (research and design project lead) (Netherlands and United States) with Irma Boom (graphic design) (Netherlands); Contributors to the BLUE installation: Moussa Ag Assarid (France, Mali). Malkit Shoshan, FAST (Netherlands and United States). Marion de Vos; Rob de Vos, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Erella Grassiani, University of Amsterdam; Arnon Grunberg; Debra Solomon, Urbaniahoeve; Stichting Dogon Educatie; Studio Jonas Staal; Joel van der Beek, Economists for Peace and Security and EcoVision; Laura van Santen (Netherlands). Travis Bunt, One Architecture and Urbanism; Peter Chilson; LEVS architecten; David Turnbull (United States); Policy recommendations: FAST, with Center on International Cooperation at New York University; Dutch Ministry of Defense; Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA); One Architecture and Urbanism; United Nations Peacebuilding; United Nations Peacekeeping Department of Field Support; Location: Mali, Liberia (field research); Years: 2007–present

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions unfold across hundreds of conflict-affected regions around the world. For added security, the bases for these missions are engineered as self-sustaining islands, walled off from their surroundings. The BLUE research and design project reenvisions UN camps not as temporary and closed forts but catalysts for local development. The proposed redesigned bases would provide better access to basics like water and medical treatment, exchanges of knowledge and resources by creating dedicated facilities for local civilians, and a lasting legacy. The structures would be designed and built using local techniques so that the base could be integrated into the city after the mission leaves.

Image: Illustration, Helmet view of Camp Castor, 2016; Illustration by FAST, with Laura van Santen; Credit: FAST with Laura van Santen © FAST / Malkit