Lithium Territories

Fall 2022 CG Grant Recipient

Mona El Khafif (School of Architecture)

Lithium Territories investigates the current disciplinary debates on Hinterlands Urbanisms and reclaims the agency of design in devising more socially and environmentally just futures. The project will initiate a research collaboration between UVA and Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) to give visibility to the planetary flows of Lithium extraction. While Lithium is powering a technological revolution that promises to decrease the negative environmental impacts of our urban centers, the pace and intensity of the process of mineral extraction have harmful implications for the social and ecological fabric of the mining regions. Through interdisciplinary research and design, this project seeks to unpack the entanglements of these global and local dynamics and positively impact the territories of study while offering a transformational experience to our students.   

The collaboration aims to nurture new opportunities for global engagement for faculty researchers at UVA, PUC, and the Master of Urban Design students at the School of Architecture. The grant will support a workshop in Chile, an exhibition at UVA, and small symposium.