In collaboration with Colombia University (GSSAP) and Chair of Architecture and Design 1, EiABC conducted an International workshop, “The Workshop Merkato in EiABC ProtoLab.” This workshop was held between May 31st and June 13th, 2015 and was attended by EiABC students and M.Sc. Graduate students of Colombia University (GSSAP).

From observation and studies from the workshop, participants found these several points:

  • The relationship between religion and commerce by studying the expansive commercial property that is currently owned by the Anwar Mosque and St. Raguel Church
  • The negotiable boundaries within the market by focusing on the various types of merchandise that are displayed throughout the market
  • The ways in which the residents and merchants of Merkato are re-using and re-shaping the light rail line that is cutting across the market
  •  The various methods of display throughout the market in order to arrive at a coherent language of consumption that is common across the multiple typologies of shops and storefronts

  • Studying and drawing the ways in which the market is understood through the lens of a day laborer by analyzing the relationship between the inefficiency of parking spaces and the value of day laborers, 

  • Studying the various strategies of surveillance and control that exist throughout the market by looking at 3 typical block typologies.

The final exhibition on 13th June, 2015 in Zoma Contemporary Art Center was attended by more than 50 people who came from multiple kinds of work. As the organizer of this workshop, Mr. Emmanuel Admasu said, “This allows us to have a conversation with various artist, architects, historians and merchants about the future of Merkato. The findings from this research will be translated into a publication by the end of the summer. The work will also be exhibited at Columbia University”. (zf)

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