Shada Elmagri

Seeds of a Utopian Desert

THIS DESIGN-LED THESIS project aims to create micro-oases in the desert in revolt of the existing cities, to address freedom, acceptance of diversity and sustainable management and distribution of resources. Considered both metaphorically and practically, the seeds are a completely sustainable, self-sufficient environment for people to thrive away from the oppressive and monolithically homogeneous city. A safe haven for the nomads, exiled and forgotten to form their own heterogeneous society and celebrate their diverse identity.

The seed can be spread around the blank spaces of Libya’s ‘Deser t’. The deser t is the main source of oil, gas and water that the cities in the north have relied upon over the last 70 years and driven their prosperity; in contrast to the population of the desert which has suffered great neglect over this time. The Seeds mission creates opportunities around the desert to consciously reclaim, reallocate, utilise and preserve natural resources, especially fossil water, thus metaphorically to celebrate these resources.

The seed cultivates possibilities for new ways of living in the desert of Libya. As the seeds grow, the oases can develop and grow sustainably throughout the years. Over time, these natural points of connection between urban metropolises can become established as hubs that inspire and initiate more urban ecosystems across the Sahara Desert and transform the region as a whole.

MORE is a part of Open Studio project run by the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster to make its design, research and practice-based work available online while it is happening.

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