A Conch Manifesto

The conch reminds us that the aesthetic of the shell or facade is only there to protect soft living matter


Conches can be found throughout the planet’s oceans, rivers, lakes, on land and in forests, even in some deserts and hold deep histories. Long history survivors. Conches - such as those from the nautilus - even hold cosmic reflections. Their colors and patterns reflect what they eat and how they have lived. Their geometries are mysterious rhythms of endlessness and openness. The genitals are next to the mussel’s head and can have up to 100 eyes. Conches can symbolize fertility and feminism. Antique collections of conches have been found in temples. Humans use conches as tubs, fonts, bowls, recipients, spoons, jewelry, decoration, building structure, music instruments, amulets, talisman, in rituals and as soil improvers in gardens. Listen to the conch and what do we hear? Does it resonate with the hiss of the world; the breath of Earth; the whistling of the dead - those becoming seabeds?

The conch reminds us that building form with materials is always a process of modulating living beings. The conch reminds us that the aesthetic of the shell or facade is only there to protect soft living matter. The conch reminds us that forms of living precede architecture. The conch reminds us of the practice of collecting, stabling, preserving. The conch is both a house and a living being folded together. Matter in movement. The same with the the snail and its shell. Architecture made obsolete and essential at the same time.

The Conch Collective suggests a manifesto for architectures beyond 2019, for reparative futures taking place from the middle, right here and now.

*Architecture in singular does not exist anymore; only architectures exists, existing = dispersed from a unifying form

= May architectures soften its shells - remember the soundscape and histories within

x May architectures resonate with the vibrant matters of everyday lives through urban-rural- industrial landscapes

* May more architectures be fragile and owned by no one
& May architectures listen to the sounds of living, dying, becomings; may inhabitants be able to listen to these sounds

& and resonate with vibrant bio-social rhythms; always think with landscaping = architectures are terraforming practices

? May architectures be temples for reparative practices; always question livable for whom

# May the architectures be e n d l e s s and c y c l i c al

- Sous les pavés, la plage... the beach is no longer beneath the pavement but can be found everywhere in the minor gestures of every day landscapes

x May architectures become minor gestures of preferable futures

& May our habitats be given shape with more living materials and their unpredictable outcomes, mutations

# May architectures as protection of vulnerable living take up more space in future habitats

? May architectures contribute to the reevaluation of value in urban-rural hybrid futures

= May the architectures be slow transformations, composting time, for becoming humans

# Because c o n t a m i n a t i o n is inevitable; mutation is always already taking place

* may collectives continuously emerge and spiral into the unknown, to encounter otherness, shaping architectures and habitats