Malleable Structures

Malleable Structures

  • 18 August 2021, 1–2pm
  • Talin Hazbar received her Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) from the American University of Sharjah in 2012 and now works across architecture, design and art to connect with surrounding landscapes and the intricate materiality of the natural world. She defines herself as an observer, and her work accentuates the importance of designing within natural systems, experimenting with materials to understand their behaviour, challenge their properties, and recalling natural built structures. The process of transforming towards growth or decay, allows Hazbar to understand the state of temporality that exists around and within us.

    Hazbar has been selected for the dieDAS Fellowship program 2020 in Design Academy Saaleck. In 2018 she was commissioned to exhibit in Co-Lab: Contemporary Art and Savoir Faire exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. She has exhibited locally in the United Arab Emirates and internationally at fairs and institutions including Design Days Dubai, Dubai Design Week, Beijing Design Week, Warehouse 421, Third Line dxb Gallery and Art Dubai. Hazbar holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the American University of Sharjah 2012. In 2015 she completed the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Emerging Artists Fellowship program in collaboration with Rhode Island School of Design, Abu Dhabi and the Tanween Design Program, Tashkeel, Dubai.

    Dr Laura Harper is a practising architect, current James Cox PhD Scholar and lecturer in the Department  of Architecture, Monash Art, Design & Architecture. Laura's research is both architectural and urban, studying material and construction through their systematic connection to wider processes and structures of the city. She is part of the Urban Laboratory and co-director of the Regional/Rural research group and her current research projects include: the Atlas of the Underground, which studies the connection between urban form and the natural and/or artificial infrastructures and systems that underly the city; The Theory of Holes looking at the systematic re-use of ex-mining sites over time; and Goldrush Urbanism which looks at recurring urban patterns which emerged specifically in goldfields towns in Victoria.

  • Online
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Syrian-born architect Talin Hazbar works across architecture, design and art to connect with landscapes, materiality and the intricacies of the natural world. Through her material experimentation and study of architecture, she seeks to better understand the contexts in which landscapes, material properties and organic processes interact, applying her learnings sensitively and functionally in her creative practice. Having recently exhibited in the 2020 NGV Triennial, Talin joins us from Dubai for this conversation with Dr Laura Harper, a practicing architect and lecturer in the Architecture Department at Monash.

Form x Content is a mix of live and pre-recorded events featuring the voices of renowned First Nations, Australian and international artists, designers, architects, curators and academics. The program is delivered every Wednesday lunchtime during Monash University teaching semesters, with a mix of live and online sessions broadcast on the big screen at Monash Caulfield and Clayton campus.

Form x Content engages with the ideas, histories, sites and critical questions of our time. The Semester 1 program focused on sustainability, collaboration and the ways in which First Nations artists centre Country in their practices. Semester 2 will explore ideas of disruption and resilience, together with queer perspectives on artistic practice and urban space.

Form x Content is free and accessible to all. Join us Wednesday lunchtimes at 1pm—live or online and on the big screens, Caulfield and Clayton campuses.

Presented by Monash Art, Design and Architecture, programmed by Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA.


Laura Harper: Hello, everyone. I'd like to begin by acknowledging the people of the Kulin Nation on whose lands we're making this discussion today, and I pay my respects to their Elders past, and present. In particular, to N'arweet Carolyn Briggs, who is Boon Wurrung Elder, and is part of the faculty of Art Design and Architecture. My name is Laura Harper. I'm a practicing architect in Melbourne, and I'm a lecturer in Architecture, here at Monash. This discussion, is part of the Form x Content series, curated by Monash University Museum of Art, for the faculty of Art Design and Architecture. And today I'm very excited to be talking to Talin Hazbar. For those of you who are low sighted, I'll give a brief description of myself, and after I've introduced Talin, she will do the same. I'm sitting in a sunny room in Melbourne, with a bookcase, and a painting behind me. I've got short dark hair, and I'm wearing a stripy top.

Talin Hazbar is based in the United Arab Emirates, and holds a Degree in Architecture, from the American University of Sharjah. Talin's work crosses architecture, design, and art, to connect with the surrounding landscapes, and the intricate materiality in the natural world. Through her research-based study of architecture, Talin looks to redefine material experimentation, to understand the context of landscapes, material properties, and organic processes, and test how these may sensitively, and functionally be applied to creative practice.

Talin has exhibited locally in the United Arab Emirates, and internationally at fairs and institutions, including Design Days Dubai, Dubai Design Week, Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2018, and in 2020 at NGV Triennial, where you may have seen her beautiful work of 'Accretions', which I think, Talin, is going to talk a bit about today.

Talin Hazbar: Thank you, Laura. Thank you for the introduction, and I'm really pleased to be part of this series. I would like as well, to describe where I'm sitting right now. I'm in a room, behind me are curtains, they're sound insulated, which is great. And I have dark hair, and short hair. And I'm really very pleased to take you through the work, and the discussion, and to discuss more the work, and my practice.

Laura Harper: Well I know you're going to share some slides with us today. Would you to start that now?

Talin Hazbar: Yeah, definitely. Great. My practice, just to give an overall of my work, and the way I define it as I go, it's very driven by materials, and processes. And I usually look at it, and I refer to those works, as the structures of impermanence, because time is a very essential element in the work. And through my earlier practice, and earlier work, I was more focused on defining the idea of moulds, and what does it mean to create a mould, and the idea of having a fixed framework.

And that's where I started to work with granule materials, that we will be able to reshape, and redefine the moulds around them. And one of the materials that I worked with was sand. And in these pictures, this is where I started working on the moulds using the same material, to allow for the contingency between the material, and the mould it holds. And this is basically one of the prototypes, or one of the structures that I've been working with the moulds itself, which is made from the same material. And this is where I feel like it was an exciting process, because there is always unexpected results, and moments in the process, and there's always uncertainty that happens.

And it's embraced within the circumstances that is around the material, or the textures and the other factors that are actually found within the process, or within the time that I'm making the work. These are other kinds of the structures that were actually done, also with the with using the mould. Which is the same material, the sand itself, and then how the adhesive is binding the material together, to different applications of the adhesive on the material. I will just run through it, because they were some tests with different structures. And it depends on the application of the adhesive on the material itself. It was creating really interesting forms, and structures. And this is what in the early stage, where I find this very interesting, because it kept on giving a lot of variety of structures, but then it's an experiment just to understand this relationship between the mould, and the outcome.

Laura Harper: Were you making them on on-site? You showed some pictures of actual sand formations, so I wondered whether you were pouring them in the studio, or outside.

Talin Hazbar: Yeah. With the material, basically I started doing them with a sandbox in the studio, and then I really wanted to understand as well, if I move to the landscape, and to an open area, a desert, and then starts casting it on-site, how would it react? And it was very interesting, because in the studio, it was very controlled. And the sand that I am also using was sieved, and it has one particular size of grain. When I moved to the desert, then there were other things that started to be part of it. The humidity of the sand. How much it absorbs, or how much it's actually close to a plant, or how far it is from the road.

So it was very interesting, to notice as well, those other elements that start to show, and you start to control, and not control, and understand while you're working on it. So it was very interesting, because the first part was literally, having it in a very controlled environment. I know exactly the constraints, but still there is within that, because the granule size would affect the way that it would interact with the forces that you are applying.

But then, as soon as it's shifted to the landscape itself, there are more factors that started to add to their unexpected surprises while working, which was very exciting at that time. And this is actually one of them. This was done closer to the beach, where also shells, and fragments of other animals started to also adhere to the structure itself, and left different kinds of crust thicknesses. And this is where I find it really interesting, because it's more about, there are other factors, like the depths of the mould itself started to be part of the process. And I find, this is where the idea of recreating a mould, for me, it started to open up a lot of other ideas, and other processes, because we're losing that very strict, or very defined mould, and structure, and we're allowing other factors to come in, and work within the process itself.

I was also very interested to understand the fragility of those structures, by adding as well a light element, and a projection on top of the surfaces, to understand how fragile, or how much layers got accumulated, or got over one layer of the solidification process. And that's where I started embedding some lights within those surfaces, and it was very interesting to see also the density within the surface itself, where it starts to be very fragile at some point, but then it's becomes more solid, and more opaque as the material gets deeper, or more layers into the surface.

These are literally experimentation of the structure itself, and then how would light be part of those structures, in order to just understand the layers that got actually created within this process. And that actually leads me to another project, where I was trying to also understand how to integrate light with structures. And in another project where I worked on, and it was called 'Lithic'. And basically, I was using stones, travertine, and I wanted to basically have a unit system, where the piece would always be restructured, and reconfigured again. And it was basically based on a folk tale that was actually famous, and it's one of the very famous folk tale in Fujairah, which is one of the seven Emirates.

And it's all about the mountain structures, and how there are certain elements that they believe, in certain mountains there are shards that come across, and people start to react to them differently. And I was really interested to transform, let's say, this story, or the folktale into an object that people can actually experience as well. And this is where the configuration of the storytelling, and how it actually changed through time, and how everyone starts to tell the story differently. So the piece also interacts, and start to reshape again, based on how do we tell the story again? And this is where it's a modular system, where those shards start to reconfigure once you change the position of those stripes.

But it was literally an interesting moment, because it's taking something that you hear of, and you retell, or you've heard it from different sources differently. But then, how do we actually translate this form of telling, into something that is more structured, or experienced? There's also another project that I worked on, which is 'Transient', and it was basically a collaboration between myself, and another factory in France. It was a ceramic factory, and we were actually really concerned on, and concentrated on creating... Basically what I was aiming to do, was to work on the archeology sites that are in Sharjah, specifically.

And we were trying to understand, the time element that is around archeology science, and this is where, what preserved the other, and what material withstands time better? Is it the ceramic? Or is it the sand that preserves the ceramics within the surface? And when the archeologists do the digging, and those processes, how much they actually do on the site, versus how much it starts to appear, or starts to show more of the timeframe that the site went to through. And this is where, basically, I was going to site, and experimenting with the materials that are found locally on the restoration sites, and those archeology spaces. And starting to test some prototypes on what the material around that site is, and questioning the idea, of which element preserves, and which element is the host, the visitor material.

And this is where, the collaboration between the factory, and myself, and the UAE, where we tried to find a way of working, on basically sand. And how does it actually work when it is used in the ceramic as a glaze, or as a material integrated within the ceramic making. And then the other way around, where are you getting those ceramic pieces, and fragmentation, and how do you preserve them in the local grounds. And this is where it was in installation, and this is where it was in Louvre Abu Dhabi. We were trying to integrate the two elements together, where you're presenting the host, and the visitor at the same time. Where both of the materials exist, but also there are the challenges of how the ceramic would actually be within these cubes of sand, and how does it react act over time on those kinds of configurations.

Laura Harper: What was the process of making these? It almost looks you've made them invisible, and then undertook an archeological process yourself of digging them out, in order to see the things inside.

Talin Hazbar: Yeah. This was really interesting, because literally, I was trying to create the same typology, or bricks that was done during the early restoration processes. So I was trying to have a couple of trials and errors on how to preserve these two together, and still exist without changing the property of one. For example, the sand kept on also cracking, because the ceramic has a completely different integrity of the material itself. So it was very interesting to see how these would bond together. And this is where it was mainly about trying to find the right way of creating a mould, that will still preserve these two, and trying different mixes in order to understand, what would be the matching, or the best mix that would go along with the ceramic, and would still maintain this integrity of the two materials coming together.

I was literally questioning the idea, how archeologists redo, or do the restoration process, and work along that, because I find it very fascinating the way that every archeologist has a completely different understanding, or different also way of looking at what is the best way to restore a site? Or what is the best way to dig the site out? And throughout the process, there were a lot of conversations with a lot of different archeologists. So every person would have a different viewpoint, and this is where I was trying to understand. There's a lot of subjectivity of everyone's way off looking at the process, and looking at how they're doing it the best way.

Laura Harper: I think, because you mentioned, that even the act of exposing is an act that causes it to suddenly become fragile, and it then becomes in a different material context, where it's rate of change accelerates all of a sudden. So I guess, also not doing anything is an option.

Talin Hazbar: Exactly, but that's the thing which was very interesting. When I was talking to the archeologists, a lot of conversations were like, "We will be leading a lot of undug sites, but then if we want to record them, or understand what went through this specific site, then we need to dig, and we will need to expose something else." So it becomes more of, "What is more important at that particular moment?

And is it better to leave maybe part of the site uncovered, and then the other part is, let's say, exposed?" And it becomes more of also the responsibility of the archeologists. What percentage can be revealed? And we can actually know more of, let's say, maybe the people who used to settle there, or who used to actually travel between, and then they found those artifacts in those areas around. So it's literally this moment, of on grounds, finding the best time, or let's say moment, to expose, or just to let go of certain sites, or specific locations within the site itself. I really find this as well very interesting, because it's the archeologist that is on ground that's trying to make those decisions, as you go, in order to understand what can be communicated, or what can be revealed from that particular site.

Another project... I was interested in... There's a lot of impermanence in the work, so that's why a lot of the title is built back, but in different way. So this work was actually done, based on the fountains that are found in the Syrian courtyards, in the old houses. And I was really interested, in how this structure resonates in a lot of people, and yet even if someone did not grow up along, or witnessing those old typology of houses, they still remember, or they still associate those fountains with Syrian houses. And what I find really interesting, it's a very separate system, where it went through a lot, also, phases. Where it used to be very functional, and it was very important in the households, because of the water system, and the distribution of water systems, and the cooling system of the house itself.

And then, it started to transform from it being functional, to it been decorative, and just a very interesting place, or a structure that people gathered around. And it becomes as well a sound installation, because of the old typologies of the houses, the culture in the houses. It becomes as well, a sound installation where people, the neighbors were not actually here, because of the water system, and that's where I find it very interesting. How do we actually relate, or connect back to those structures? And there I started looking at the typologies that are found, mostly on the Syrian courtyards, and started to create fragments of those kinds of structures. How do we relate to fragments, rather than relating back to a full experience, or a full central piece that is usually found in the centre of the courtyard? Usually the fountains are a circular, or more a very geometric form, that is in the centre of the house.

But what I was interested in taking, is the fragments that are within that are actually making up this piece, the fountain itself. And during this process, I was interviewing as well a lot of people who grew up around fountains, or around courtyard typologies, and what does it mean to them, this structure? And this is where I started dividing them, or making them in quarters. So it's not anymore a central space, or a central structure within a central space, but it's more of fragments of these quarters that are spread in the space, and we are becoming part of basically this water circulation, and water system. So it's not anymore an isolated system by itself, where we always see the water hidden in a rarely... The pipe system, or how it actually serves the other houses, or the other rooms around it.

But it's more of, the water is revealed in quarters, and this is where every shape has a very different sound as well, of how the water, and the nozzle works with the surface of the fountain itself. And it was an interesting experiment, because where it was an installation, and it was spread apart, and people were actually moving around them. And it created their own personality, where every fountain has its own personality of how the water is integrated within this specific form. I'm going through a lot of projects, I guess.

Laura Harper: No. I think it's great to see, and understand, and see the different themes that come through. And also, I think for me, there's a lot of architectural, and urban inquiry in your work as well. And so it's interesting to understand those kinds of methods of surveying houses, and courtyards, and types, and interviewing people as well, as part of your process. And I think, that we've talked a couple of times before, so I understand now that this is something that you do in many projects. That you surround them with a big context, a city context of people in buildings.

Talin Hazbar: Yeah. Which was also very interesting, during the process of the fountain, and the courtyards, because I was not so familiar with all the typologies, so it's literally about the research. To try to understand, what are those repetitive types of a courtyard, and also the fountains that kept on appearing as well in a lot of courtyards, but in different forms, and different geometry configuration. And it was interesting, because it depends on the scale of the fountains to the courtyard space as well. They start to appear, and it depends on how many members are within that courtyard, and within the house, but also the stories. I did an interview, and a lot of people were from different backgrounds, and people who grew up around fountains, but also they have different understanding, from their point of view as an artist, or as archeologist, or as a chef as well. I was trying to understand, what does it actually mean to them? Or what it used to mean to them.

And then how did they relate to this? Was it their practice? So I felt it was a project, where we're reconnecting over a structure, and that's where I felt there was so much information that started to appear, with why do we have this connection to such a structure? And this is where, I was really curious to understand, how other people would view that, and finding the reasons behind, why do we always relate it back to certain region? Or what does it mean, to actually have this connection with a structure that went through a lot of, also, transformation through time? And it's not anymore there. It's just symbolic.

Laura Harper: Right. I know you're going to get to your 'Accretions' project, but I see a lot of similarities in the process, and the discussion of an object, but that it's revealing a lot of different questions, about the landscape, and environment that, that object is sitting in, or part of.

Talin Hazbar: Yeah. I feel like this is interesting. Where it's... There are different materials, or different processes, but then it's within the same method of investigating the work. Also, who's involved in it, or the collaborator as well. And the questions that reconfigured, or requestioned, again, based on the type of project, or the type of the landscape, is actually questioned at that particular time. This is also another project, it's called 'Extractions', and it was also basically in Sharjah. There are a lot of references to Islamic architecture. But the thing is also if you want to define what is Islamic architecture, it's actually something that we really can't define it, or label it. Because it's more about it existed away from all these ornamentation, and it was literally about the geometric forms. What was interesting to see, the uniformity that happens within a city. When you enter it you immediately label it, or have a certain, let's say, an idea of because of the architecture it holds.

There's a lot of repetition of ornamentation, that is heavily used in a lot of buildings, and references to other architecture periods. And this is where I felt, does it actually relate to the city? Or what is the architecture of the city itself? And this is where I started creating objects that are positioned across those buildings, and extracting certain forms, and scaling them up basically, and creating between them a lot of elements that combine them together. And this is where, because the shift that happens in Sharjah, previously, it was a very simple architecture, and in the region in general, but then at a certain point, it started to pick up a lot of ornamentation from other regions as well.

And it started to have its own aesthetics. And this is where it was interesting to see the identity, how it changed, and how do you reconnect, or requestion the identity, again, of something that is always changing, and let's say, it has a lot of other references of others. And so then, when it becomes combined together, or applied again in a different context, how does it actually reveal itself? Or what is this identity? The question, of is it recreating something completely new, that is very specific to Sharjah? Or it still has these references to other architecture types that are found in Egypt, or in Turkey, or other places in the Middle East.

So it was very interesting to find, and to question, how the architects started to see those patterns, and it's literally repeated in a lot of buildings. It's not only one building, or one type, but you start noticing them all along one city. So it was very interesting to see, there's a uniformity, but it's not also shown, or written through, like let's say a regulation book, or there was something that is very specific for the architects to use. But it was literally very open, where architects started, because of, let's say, they're certain typologies that were already executed in the city. So they started to pick up at the same style, and build through that style.

And I find it interesting, because it's more about what they find in the context itself, and they start to pick up, and work along. And that's why as soon as you enter Sharjah, it's really very different from the rest of the Emirates, because it starts to have a very uniform type of architecture. And that's where I was really interested to recreate those kinds of elements, away from the architecture side, but more for us to experience those, and question their origin. So this is where there were three types, and the three types were facing three different buildings, that has different fragments of different, basically, geometric forms that were used in the building repeatedly, and it was a public installation in a garden space.

Now we're moving to 'Accretions', and 'Accumulation', which is the earlier research of 'Accretions'. Literally following the same method, of questioning a certain landscape, questioning how people as well interact with this landscape, or the tools that it have been used, around. What is this connection between people, between the nature, between also other authorities that are regulating certain landscapes, and certain contexts? And this is where I started to work with fishermen, and look at the tools they are using, and the language, the typologies, or the growth that is happening, and they are facing in their fishing practice. And I was really interested in the nets, and how those nets take a very specific form, and they're also used across almost all the fishermen.

I was literally interested in the process of the fishing, and how they actually respond to such big bounty. There is no way to restrict, or understand the motion of what happens in the sea itself. Because there're a lot of, changes, transformation, and it's always changing, and moving, and it's seemed to me becoming more of the day that matters, or the hours, and if they will be able to actually go, and do their fishing or not, based on the other factors that is more prominent than anything else, because it's unpredictable. And this is where I find it really interesting to see, how fishermen in daily basis interact with the landscape with their very simple tools, and simple methods of fishing.

And in the first phase of 'Accretions', I was really interested to understand, basically, the tools. How they get reshaped, adjusted based on the needs, and based on what would make more sense to the fishermen, and to the people who are living from this practice. And then, how does it work as well when we're looking at the ecology, and the ocean as a whole. So it was very interesting for me, where I was literally going with the fishermen in their trips, to understand that mould, to understand what they go through. How do they actually readjust, based on, let's say, the things that they actually found in their trip? And how do they actually regulate the fishing in between themselves?

Because there's always regulation that happens in one side, but then on grounds, there's always a lot of other things that started to appear, and show, and they still have to face, and to interact with, and I find that very interesting. And along with that, there is also scientific understanding of the accumulation, the growth that happens. And this is where we tried to get some samples, to understand the growth that accumulates, and deposits on those structures, and nets.

Laura Harper: The fishermen make these shapes, don't they?

Talin Hazbar: Exactly. Yes.

Laura Harper: What material are they made from?

Talin Hazbar: Initially they used to make them by using the palm fronds before, but then through time it got changed into metal wires, and they are really very thin wires, and then they shape them in a very specific way, in order to create a very integrated, and intricate pattern that will not be able to... It's really not that loose, that it becomes very stiff in the structure itself.

Laura Harper: Because it has a form. Did they make it on top of a shape? How did they make it in these shapes?

Talin Hazbar: Basically, they sit inside of one of them, literally on the opposite side, they turn it, and then they start weaving all along in a circular manner. And it's really nice, because why the shape took that specific dome structure, and it's just mimicking the coral shapes. But there's no any connection, but this is what I find is very interesting. They just wanted something that works, and for them, there's a lot of fascination as well for those marine structures, the marine organisms. So that's why they were recreating certain elements, or certain tools, mimicking the shapes of certain organisms. But it's very interesting, to see how they're trying to mimic that through a wire weaving. And the knowledge of understanding, this would actually attract more fish, and it would be the best thing to use for them, was very interesting to see.

Those are some of the photos that was actually taken in one of the trips. And usually they always clean off those accumulations, or the growth that happens on top of these nets, because they want to maintain the mesh itself. But what I was really interested in, is leading the growth, and to understand more the growth pattern, and how much pattern, or let's say, density that can actually be accumulated. And that's where the 'Accretion', was all about understanding the time. How do we anchor it into a space that is always moving, and changing over time? How do we also understand the growth pattern? What are those organisms that keep on growing, and attaching to certain elements, and creating those structures that are basically calcium carbonate, that are like left colonies in certain areas, and then they migrate on other surfaces.

Those net structures, or the calcified structures, how does it actually work, and get over time, and over structures, and over other constraints? And it was very interesting to also question that, with the knowledge of the marine biologists, and also the knowledge with the fishermen who are on grounds. So it was always this comparison that happened, where we are taking some samples to understand what they were, and what those organisms are, and what also the fishermen has named them. So it was very interesting to see, how a fisherman has very specific names that are in reference to their look, their texture, their color.

While the scientific, let's say naming, and labeling was completely different. Where it's more about the cells, and other factors that is not actually obvious in their very simple manner. But it's really interesting to see how fishermen started to label all these organisms, and those structures, and what they face. And in very simple way, similar to the tools they have been using as well. And also scientifically, how it was also named so differently.

Laura Harper: And you mentioned also, that you would sometimes ask scientists what these things were, and they didn't really know. There's quite a bit of mystery about these tiny, tiny things that are in the ocean somehow. And maybe there's a more exact knowledge in some ways, from the fishermen who are encountering them every day.

Talin Hazbar: Exactly. Yeah. This is also very interesting, because the scientists, there was always uncertainty of things, or uncertainty of the growth pattern as well. Where based on like, let's say earlier research where there's no definitive answer of what it is, but there was always like, "Oh, it's might be this, or it's might to be that. Or it might go in that particular way, based on the research that has been done before." But then the fishermen immediately, the answers were so like, "Yeah. We know what this is." It was very interesting to see how on grounds, and how fishermen were so in a way, in control of certain things they know every day, because they face, and they actually interact with those kinds of organisms, structures, the growth, and they notice these in daily basis.

And that was interesting, to keep referring back to a lot of other disciplines. And this is where it's interesting, because every discipline, every particular person looks at certain things, differently. But then there are some different ways of understanding it, or digging more to understand what it is. And I find the knowledge on grounds, it's always interesting to see how they react to these things, because it's just interesting as well to see those behaviors happening. Where I was literally in the middle, just understanding like, "Okay. What do I do now? How do I communicate?" For example, when we were taking a lot of samples from one of the structures of 'Accretions', and trying to understand what they were. The fishermen really wanted to understand, scientifically, what does that mean?

But we could not get into an answer, so we just kept on going back, and referring back to what the fisherman is using, rather than what scientifically it's actually named after. This was one of the very interesting points that happened during the research. This is just a close up of 'Accretion', but I feel like this is something, that there are really infinite ways of looking at the processes, and then how do we come back again? Because within, the research was very interesting, because there are so many factors to look back, and to go back to the process again, and dig more, and understand the very specific elements that happens during this process. And we bringing them back again, whether along this project, or a future project. But it's really about the collaboration, or the questions that raised within different disciplines, along certain landscape, or certain structure.

Laura Harper: So with this project, with the process, obviously these are not the nets from the fishermen, is that right?

Talin Hazbar: Exactly. Yes. The fishing, basically on the 'Accretions', when I started just to understand the process, I started using first the fishermen tools, just to start understanding, what they will be, what we are experimenting with, also those nets that were in the ocean, just to understand how much they've then grown, and we can tell that through how much accumulation has been through those surfaces. So it was all about understanding, first the growth pattern with the fishermen, but then later, there are a lot of also the forces, or how the lost meshes started to deform through time, and through other forces.

So I started recreating those different structures using a new structure made of metal, and then using the same weaving method, but in a bit different way, but maintaining the same pattern. And that's where in 'Accretions', it was more of a surface application let's say, or a surface form, rather than, let's say a whole volumetric structure. Where the fishermen were using them as a trap system. But that's where the change of form happens.

Laura Harper: And how long were these in the water for?

Talin Hazbar: Some of them were for three months, to six months. And this is where it was in between the period of between Summer and Winter, to understand when things get changed, or moved from one surface to another, and by losing some nutrients, how the migration organisms happened as well. And this is where we were looking at different locations, that would have less impact on marine organisms. But mainly trying to understand, how do we actually position these in a way, where it can not have a huge impact as well on the growth?

Laura Harper: Mm-hmm. There's something in your first project that you showed, where you were casting onsite in different locations, and there was a lot of changes, and unpredictability that was happening from that interaction. And in this one, you're also making, not a mould, but an infrastructure for things to happen to. And so I guess, in both of them there's an element of input in the beginning, but the acceptance of a whole lot of, as you said, collaboration with materials, or natural things.

Talin Hazbar: Yeah, exactly. It's inte resting, the idea of how do we interact, and when do we actually let go of things, and then accept the results, and what's going to happen? And this is where I find, for the material to exist, and reveal other properties within this process, this is what would made me even question more things as we go during the process itself, because of the unexpected results, or the unexpected factors that start to grow within this process. For sure. Yeah.

Laura Harper: I think I've mentioned to you before as well, about if you have ever mapped all your projects, because one thing listening to you present your work, is that I'm trying to picture the relationship between all these projects, because all of them describe a particular place. And there was the mountains with the shards, and the courtyards with the water, and the archeological places in the desert, and the beach, and the ocean. And so, there's a very rich sense of the place that you are making all of these things, that you're communicating when you're describing all of this process. And they seem more connected as well. So I would love to understand how they all fit together geographically, and also to the natural systems, because I guess there's a sense of sand, and that must connect all of these projects in some way.

Talin Hazbar: Yeah. I think it is very connected to the context, and because I think, growing up in the UAE, there's a lot of shifts, and changes that's happens to those landscapes as well. And I think that's why, there is a lot of questioning of the temporality of things as well. Like certain landscape would just disappear, because there're other things that are coming along that area specifically. Or there are certain things that are rechanging, and reconfigured, in terms of a new regulation, or a new system, or a new way of looking at certain spaces.

And because I grew up in differential locations, like in Fujairah first, which is the mountain side, and then I moved to Sharjah, which is more the ocean side. So I feel like there's a lot of also connection, and understanding of the locations you're around. And in a way, there was really interest on these materials, because of how fast things are changing within them in the micro scale of things. But then also in the macro scale, if we're looking at the context in general, it's also very fast moving, and changing all the time.

Laura Harper: You mean mostly human change, or natural change also.

Talin Hazbar: Actually both of them. Because, in a way it's constant changing naturally, and you see it more recent than before, and then also the human impact on certain things as well. Or how do we actually work, or how do we exist within certain contexts, or certain landscapes? And that's where I feel like they are always changing, and that's where I feel like I really want to understand more, the specifics that made up this whole landscape, but also by zooming out, and understanding how this landscape fits within the whole city basically.

Laura Harper: Yeah. That's very fascinating. I think we've reached our time limit, and I feel like this is a nice place to end, because I think that scale, from the micro to the city, or the landscape, or the country is very much embodied in all your work. So thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us, and it was very fascinating to speak with you, not just today, but the other times that we've spoken as well, and I look forward to doing it again sometime in the future.

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