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It All Starts With a Wall - project booklet

Maciej Moszant | Borders&Territories Graduation Studio | TU Delft BK | 2021

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It all

It all starts with a

wall

To (re)permeate the border

starts

Emerging conditions of informal trade at the Iran - Pakistan border

Maciej Moszant

with a

Maciej Moszant

TO (RE)PERMEATE THE BORDER

1


2


It all starts with a

wall

To (re)permeate the border

Emerging conditions of informal trade at the Iran - Pakistan border

Maciej Moszant

maciekmoszant@o2.pl

First Mentor:

Second Mentor:

Third Mentor:

Nishat Awan

Mauro Parravicini

Oscar Rommens

Graduation Project

PART I

PART II

PART III

PART IV

research

theory essay

modi operandi workshop

design

appendix

3


PART I

research

4


INTRODUCTION

The researched thematics

concerns the phenomenon of

cross-border smuggling at the

mountainous desert region

of Balochistan situated in

Pakistan. Balochistan is the

most precarious province of

the country, bordering both

with Iran - at the West - and

Afghanistan - on the North.

Along with cross-border

Iranian Balochistan-Sistan

province, it has been the

homeland to Balochs people,

whose territory has once been

divided by the national frontier.

The violence of the Pakistani

state, manifesting itself as

economic negligence, lack of

investments, and constant

exploitation, induced Balochs

to engage in illicit practices such

as cross-border smuggling.

Despite being an extremely

dangerous activity, smuggling

has become one of few ways

to survive in the economic

misery of this desertic land.

The Balochs smuggle food,

building materials, drugs, and

people. However, the most

characteristic commodity

smuggled in Balochistan is oil

and diesel. In Iran one gallon

of diesel costs twice the time

as cheaper than in Pakistan

- without surprise then, oil

smuggling became a vital part

of the region’s local economy.

AFGHANISTAN

IRAN

BALOCHS

PAKISTAN

Balochistan and Sistan province

Balochistan province

the Balochs’ homeland

5


1. internal waters

2. desert

3. rocky mountains

4. mangrooves coastilne

habitats along the border

6


border area landscape section

THE IRAN - PAKISTAN BORDER AREA

The vast landscape of the

Iran - Pakistan border area

stretches along almost 1000

km through various habitats

and geological formations.

7


Iran

Pakistan

google maps border line

observation post

road crossing

wall/fortification

Iran

Pakistan

mapping of border fortifications

THE BORDER FORTIFICATIONS

Overall, the fortifications are

situated at the Iranian side

of the frontier. Exploring

the border with satellite

images enabled creating a

catalog of ways in which

the border is fortified:

(1) The regular situation where

the border is fortified with

ditches and embankments.

In parallel to fortifications,

there is a road coming

along the entire border.

(2) Every 500 m the

fortifications are punctuated

with observation towers or

(3) entire guarding bases

that are additionally

fortified with dry moats.

(4) In several places wall is

being regularly disrupted

by the seasonal rivers.

(5) Higher on the north, at

the mountainous area, the

concrete wall infills are used

to seal spaces between rocks.

(6) Some minor fragments of

the border are also fortified

with double steel fencing and

in-between barbed wire.

8


embankment

embankment

connecting road

connecting road

dry moats

(1) regular barrier

embankment

ditch

ditch

embankment

dry moats

connecting road

observation tower

patrol

ditch

connecting patrol road

observation tower

patrol

ditch

fortified building

fortified building

regular barrier

regular barrier

observation point

regular barrier

patrol

observa

fortified building

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

(2) observation post

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

regular barrier

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

observation tower

observation tower

embankment

base with two observation towers

infill concrete wall

observation tower

dry moats

towers

ditch

base with two observation towers

infill concrete wall

(3) guarding post

barbed wire

infill concrete wall

barbed wire

seasonal river flow

observation tower

barbed wire

barbed wire

embankment

base with two observation towers

barbed wire

infill concrete w

steel fence

regular barrier

seasonal river flow

embankment

dry moats

interruption

observation point

barbed wire

ditch

barrier interruption

dry moats

steel fencing

connecting road

embankment

embankment

seasonal river flow

observation tower

steel fence

connecting road

ditch

ditch

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

interruption

dry moats

dry moats

observation tower

steel fence

(4) barrier disruption made by seasonal river

regular barrier

patrol

patrol

ditch

observation point

observation tower

observation tower

steel fence

regular barrier

patrol

regular barrier

barrier interruption

interruption

observation point

observation point

steel fencing

regular barrier

observation point

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

barrier interruption

infill concrete wall

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

90 cm thick, 3-5.5 m high concrete wall

barbed wire

barbed wire

(5) concrete infill wall

infill concrete wall

infill concrete wall

barbed wire

steel fence

barbed wire

infill concrete wall

infill concrete wall

barbed wire barbed wirebarbed wire

barbed wire

barbed wire

barbed wire

(6) double steel fence with barbed wire

steel fencing

steel fence

steel fence

steel fence

steel fence

steel fencing

steel fencing

steel fencing

9


6.04 m

10 m

9.79 m

28.25 m

~75 m

THE ROLE OF PERIODIC RIVERS

While tracing the course

of the border on satellite

images, several places when

the border fortifications are

disrupted can be observed.

Most often, however, these are

periodic rivers penetrating

the border that creates natural

gaps in its fortifications.

The collection of these areas

around the border gaps has

become a starting set of

sites for the project’s design

concept.

gaps in the border fortifications made by periodic rivers

10


10.70 m

8.05 m

4 m

37.52 m

0

5

10 m

cross section of the border fortifications

specific areas where the gaps occurs

11


HARDSHIP OF BALOCHI SMUGGLERS

Balochi people have been

engaged in cross-border

smuggling for years, as a result

of the province’s economic

negligence, lack of developed

job market and investments,

as well as an effect of massive

resource extraction, led by the

Pakistani state and China that

pursues their New Silk Road.

Smuggling in Balochistan

can be described as an

extremely risky occupation.

At times, smugglers drive

up their blue Zamyads up

to 210 km/h on the border

roads. If they are caught by

the police or frontier guards,

they are tremendously fined,

beaten, or even shot. Despite

that, for Balochs, who have

been completely neglected by

their states, smuggling has

therefore become a major

and one of only a few ways

to create an independent

standalone economy and

survive in their misery.

Having hardly any choice,

entire families engage in

smuggling food products,

electronics, cars, building

materials, drugs, people, but

most importantly oil and

diesel.

12


13


PRODUCTS FLOWS - REGIONAL SCALE

The above mapping presents

smuggling as a system

within the regional scale.

It distinguishes the three

most important smuggling

types: people smuggling,

drugs smuggling, and oil

smuggling. It indicates

from where a particular

type of good comes and go:

a.) drugs (green color)

penetrate Pakistan from

Afghanistan to then transit

to Iran at two points; the

rest infiltrates Pakistan up

to Karachi. At times drugs

are temporarily sheltered

at local families’ houses.

b.) people trafficking

(orange) operates basing on

refugees being smuggled

either by pickup cars or

regular buses. During the

night, they are sheltered

in specialized dormitories

destined to accommodate

smugglers’

clients.

14


mapping of products’ regional flows

c.) oil and diesel smuggling

(blue color) is what actually

creates the economy of the

Balochistan region. It involves

a great majority of Balochs of

every age, including children.

The oil comes from Iran

where its price is twice as

low as in Pakistan. It is either

smuggled by families living at

border towns, either big mafias

operating in the Jodar area.

It is then either distributed to

the entire country or arrives at

Gwadar seaport from where it

is exported to such destinations

as Muscat or Somalia.

15


16

Jodar area where the largest smugglers groups operate


presumed range of Jodar area

JODAR AREA

The biggest oil smuggling

mafias operate in the

mountainous Jodar area. The

process has a very systemized

structure: on both sides of the

border, the smuggling bosses

who usually own around 20

cars, remotely negotiate the

prices and commission the

orders for the oil. After this

stage their smugglers depart

from the town of Dalbandin,

where most of them reside,

they form 6-7 car convoys,

and drive along London Road

up to the village of Gat, from

where they get away off-road

on the West, through the vast

area of Hamun-e-Mashkel

periodic lake which turns to

desert. After long hours of

drive, smugglers arrive at the

Jodar border where they take

place in the long line among

other cars. The smugglers

spend a night in their cars, to

then, when morning comes,

bribe Pakistani Frontier

Corps and enter the Jodar

area - the ‘marketplace’ where

the petroleum is traded. On

the other side of the frontier,

Iranian Balochs – the sellers,

after tanking at the fuel depots

endeavor a risky journey

through the mountains. As

the paths at the mountains

have been mined, the donkeys

are used to carry oil tanks

and barrels - they are let to

pass first in order to test the

area. Finally, Iranian and

Pakistani smugglers meet at

the provisional marketplace,

at the area called Jodar, and

there make their deals.

17


18


Jodar area - mapping of oil & diesel smuggling

19


THE AGENTS AND ARTIFACTS OF SMUGGLING PROCESS

Several agents and artifacts

that participate in smuggling

situations can be distinguished:

the convoys of smugglers are

easily recognizable as they

usually drive blue pickups

called Zamyads - tax-free

cars produced in Teheran.

As they are not registered,

therefore it is impossible to

estimate how many of these

are moving across the country.

The smugglers’ cars are

often tuned up with stronger

engines or smoking devices at

the rear, in order to effectively

evade police pursuits.

On longer distances,

massive oil tankers are

used. They spread the oil to

remote parts of Pakistan.

In mostly inaccessible

mountainous areas donkeys

are used, both in the role

of transporting vehicles

and landmine testers.

People are usually smuggled

either on Zamyads or by buses

- the price for being smuggled

through the border reaches

4300 dollars.

drivers’ salary - $ 20 / trip

drivers’ salary - $ 20 / trip

boss profit - $ 250 / car / trip

boss profit - $ 250 / car / trip

/ car

oftenly equipped

oftenly equipped

Zamyad Co. with , Teheran smoking device

with smoking device

cost: $ 1250 - $ 6220

- blue

- speeds over 160 km/h

- 6-7 pcs per convoy

Zamyad Co. , Teheran

Zamyad Co. , Teheran

cost: $ 1250 - $ 6220

cost: $ 1250 - $ 6220

- blue

- blue

- speeds over 160 km/h

- speeds over 160 km/h

- 6-7 pcs per convoy

- 6-7 pcs per convoy

oil oil / diesel / diesel

2 220 - 2 700 L / car

2 220 - 2 700 smuggled L / car people

donkey

smuggled - transporting people

smuggled people

vehicle

- landmine tester

smuggled people

cost: $ 2500 - $ 4350 / person

smuggled people

smuggled people

cost: $ 2500 - $ 4350 / person

cost: $ 2500 - $ 4350 / person

drivers’ salary - $ 20 / trip

boss profit - $ 250 / car / trip

amyad Co. , Teheran

ost: $ 1250 - $ 6220

p blue

anian speeds fuel over 160 km/h

6-7 pcs per convoy

le

%

load up

load up

with Iranian fuel

with Iranian fuel

donkey

- transporting vehicle oil tanker

- landmine smuggled tester people

$ 900 / lot

%

%

$ 60 / lot

oftenly equipped

with smoking device

donkey oil tanker

dormitory oil for tanker trafficked people

- transporting vehicle $ 2 / night

- landmine tester oil / diesel

2 220 - 2 700 L / car

$ 900 / lot

$ 900 / lot

Zamyad Co. , Teheran

cost: $ 1250 - $ 6220

- blue

- speeds over 160 km/h

- 6-7 pcs per convoy

$ 60 / lot

$ 60 / lot

dor

d

ggled people

: $ 2500 - $ 4350 / person

smuggled people

cost: $ 2500 - $ 4350 / person

smuggling goods and its holders

smuggling goods and its holders

smuggling goods and its holders

dormitory for trafficked people

oil tanker

$ 2 / night

load up

with Iranian fuel

dormitory for trafficked people

$ 2 / night

20

%

$ 60 / lot

$ 900 / lot

$ 60 / lot

%

$


Iranian smuggler

law enforcment forces

Pakistani smuggler

border fortifications

“Hide and Seek” game being played between smugglers and police

LAW ENFORCEMENT GROUPS

The important agents of

smuggling are law enforcement

forces who depending on

a particular group, either

collaborate with smugglers

and are regularly bribed so that

the business can operate, or, in

the opposite, cannot be bribed

and becomes very violent

towards smugglers. Therefore

the conflict of interest

within law enforcement

groups can be observed.

Overall, in spite of the fact that

the Pakistani state officially

condemns smuggling, it relies

on it at the same time.

Frontier Corps

- border areas

Balochistan Police

- urban areas

Balochistan Levies

- rural areas

Pakistan Coast Guards

- sea territories

21


STUDY OF LOCAL BUILDING TECHNIQUES

venacular low-tech

+

reused

high-tech

The building techniques and

materials used by people

living in desertic areas of

Balochistan may be described

as a vibrant mix of vernacular

originated approaches (such

as building from stone, lime,

straw, wooden branches,

animal skins) with reuse

of accidentally acquired

high-tech items (such as

steel profiles, solar panels,

battery windmills, household

appliances, oil/diesel

containers).

example of a desertic settlement

22


layers of fabric / leather

straw

wooden beams

branches + straw screen

branching column

screen frame

straw coverage

straw roofing

bamboo ceiling

bamboo ceiling

H-profile steel beams

clay plastering

stone + mud wall

bamboo detached door

door lintel

lether / textile door coverge

clay + stone slab

study of two mostly occurring vernacular typologies

23


24

RESEARCH PHASE CONCLUSIONS


PART II

theory essay

25


AMBIGUOUS INFRASTRUCTURES OF BORDER FLUXES

Balochistan is the largest and the most

precarious province of Pakistan. Along with

cross-border Iranian Balochistan-Sistan

province, it is the homeland of the Balochi

people, whose territory has been divided by

the national frontier. Through occasional

insurgency acts, Balochi strives for regaining

their independence from Islamabad, which has

been exploiting the province in economical,

material, and social senses. The violence of the

state, manifesting itself as negligence, induced

Balochs to engage in ‘illicit’ – though commonly

acknowledged and tolerated by the state -

practices. Informal trade, border smuggling,

and human trafficking - have become some

of the few ways to survive in the economic

misery of this desertic land. Effectively, the

intertwinement of inner local urgencies with

outer (geo)political conditions determined a

very particular local means of how to get by.

The research, therefore, positions itself in a

multi-disciplinary scope, deriving not only

from spatial domains such as architecture or

urbanism but also, even more importantly, from

various social sciences such as ethnography,

sociology, anthropology, and politics. Hence, the

sources of the paper comprise trans-disciplinary

works, often operating on the edge of the above

disciplines as well as include diverse media

types such as books, official reports, online

articles, Instagram posts, or YouTube videos.

Keywords:

Balochistan, smuggling, informal trade,

Balochi, Iran-Pakistan border

This research aims to investigate the

phenomenon of smuggling as well as various

kinds of border infrastructures that have

been perpetuating fluxes across the Iran -

Pakistani national border. The paper will

begin with recognizing the socio-economical

context in which the Balochistan province

is situated. The proper research will start by

examining the physicality of the infrastructure

body understood by its material means. On

the other hand, less tangible, fluid kind of

‘infrastructures’ will be examined afterward –

the ones understood as abstract yet functioning

systems of interests, dependencies, exceptions,

and special relationships that perpetuate around

local actors: smugglers, animals, state(s) agents,

various (often independent) law enforcement

groups.

Eventually, after effectuating this ‘verbal

mapping’, the overall condition of border fluxes,

with special attention to its infrastructure(s),

will be conceptualized in the theoretical

framework, referencing, inter alia, to the notions

of agencement [1] or infrastructure of people. [2]

26


INTRODUCTION

The phenomenon of border fluxes in

Balochistan appears to find its vivid reference

to the socio-political emphasis that sits in

the core of the ‘Emergent Border Conditions

in Eurasia’ scope of interests. Being hardly

accessible (in particular for non-locals)

- as the result of the geological, political,

environmental circumstances - the examined

area holds (architecturally) peripheral nature,

therefore unveiling uncommon potential for

exploring experimental understandings of the

spatial situations that occurs there. For the

same reasons, the research, in consequence,

demands a very particular investigative

approach, drawing a reference to even forensic

practice.

and informal economy. Infrastructure within

contemporary architectural discourse has

been theorized mainly in the context of

development. It has been established as a

material, visible artefact of progress, mainly

in terms of technological one. However, what

distinguishes infrastructure from technologies

is, as Brian Larkin argues, that they ‘are objects

that create the grounds on which other objects

operate, and when they do so they operate

as systems’ [3] or defines it on an even more

abstract level – ‘infrastructures are matter

that enables the movement of other matter’.

[4] The latter definition will serve to frame

the phenomenon of smuggling through the

Pakistan-Iran border.

The theoretical framework of the research will

base on the two concepts being most crucial for

the cross-border fluxes, namely infrastructure

Off-road route frequented by oil smugglers across the desertic area of Mashkel.

source:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu8KbIqAos0&ab_channel=AhmedBadini

27


Another key concept indispensable for

grasping the below-described set of sociospatial

situations is the notion of the informal

economy and the way it functions. Regardless

of the specific location, the informal economy

most usually finds its relation to migration

schemes and political transitions. Informal

markets usually are able to operate thanks to

special relationships and interests between

different actors, which more specifically has

been framed as an archipelago economy.

This type of trade is especially relevant for

the case of Balochistan, where the ‘social

infrastructure’, understood as a web of sociospatial

connections, enables smugglers to

seamlessly tackle various barriers, including

the most important one – the national frontier.

The accompanying vocabulary that is often

being used to describe the cross-border fluxes

in the works treating on socio-spatial theory,

such as barriers, membranes, apertures, flows,

disjunctions, etc. interestingly suggest a nondirect,

yet recognizable parallel to scientific,

not seldomly even medical dictionary, drawing

an intrinsic link on the span between social

and scientific. Such a narrative manner will be

further embraced in this essay, introduced in

the titles of these chapters that rather elucidate

the actual phenomena, and precedes solely the

theoretical substance of the paper.

THE NEGLECTED BODY

Balochistan, comprised within triangle

bordering both with Iran - at the West - and

Afghanistan - on the North, occupies as much

as 44 percent of Pakistani land area being the

largest province of the country. The region

homes two ethnic groups - the Baloch and the

Pashtuns. Comparing with the rest of Pakistan,

a gaze at various social indicators proves the

complexity of the situation in Balochistan [5], in

terms of its underdevelopment. These indicators

consider not only the educational aspects, as,

for instance, female literacy (15% versus 33% in

entire Pakistan) but also, and primarily, lack of

access to even more basic utilities as sanitation

(7% vs 18%) or electricity (25% vs 75%).

[6] Surprisingly the extent and scale of this

misery find its reflection even in the content of

formal documents issued by the Government

of Balochistan. ‘Balochistan is distinct from

rest of Pakistan not only geographically but

also in its sufferings and the treatment meted

out to it (…) No one wants to be aware of the

suffocation of people in Balochistan…’. [7]

The economic, social, political violence that

spreads across the region finds its origins

primarily in multiple conflicts on various

scales and levels. These include competition

between different tribes’ interests, sectarian

conflicts, ethnic complexities, and finally,

constant insurgency and terror acts of Balochi

national separatists aimed at Islamabad-run

state representatives. The latest has its roots

in 1948 when Pakistan incorporated the state

of Kalat, which comprises most of today’s

Baluchistan province. It is argued that from the

very beginning of their rules, Pakistani have

considered these terrains almost as a colony. [8]

This attitude, which can be seen as persisting

until now, has mainly occurred in the extraction

of material as well as social resources without,

or with extremely scarce, investments in local

infrastructure (limited to devices facilitating

the exploitation [9]). By this, not only the

physical infrastructures are meant, but also

the social ones, such as education or healthcare

[10]. The most apparent extraction has been

undergone both at sea, where extensive fishing

occurs, and in the northern part of the region

rich in mines.[11] To an even larger extent,

extraction has accelerated since Islamabad

had entered into several agreements with the

Chinese government. The farthest-reaching

effect of these, the China-Pakistan Economic

Corridor (CPEC), resulted in constructing an

extensive system of infrastructure meant to

logistically link Pakistan to western China. [12]

Acknowledging the above contexts pose

necessary in order to further apprehend the

nature of border fluxes. These, despite operating

in a very specific, self-sufficient system, remain

however a consequence of broad political,

28


economic, and social bonds that leaves

no other choice for the local population

than to engage in - what is often unjustly

called from the external perspective of

a western observer - the ‘grey economy’.

[13] The analysis of the proper border

fluxes should be however preceded by

examining the various ethical, political,

and material conditions that sum up for the

actual physical construction of the border.

(EX-)MEMBRANE

The Iran-Pakistan border stretches about

900 kilometers through a mostly desertic

mountainous landscape, in between

Pakistani Balochistan and Iranian Sistan

and Beluchistan provinces. Ethnically

speaking, the national border divides

the historically uniform territory of the

Balochi people. For many years, the border

remained porous, enabling locals to trade

relatively freely and therefore make their

existence possible. [14]This, however, has

started to gradually change when several

investments meant to seal the border

evolved. In 2007, the Iranian government,

willing to stop cross border drug inflow

from Pakistan territory, commenced to

erect ‘700km long, 90cm thick and 3m high

concrete wall, fortified with steel rods’, [15]

spreading from Taftan up to the Mand in

Turbat district. Along with the wall itself,

the project included earth embankments

Right: a concrete wall built by Iran. source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7wxq2vbAHc&ab_channel=PakistanTube

Left: new barbwire fence being constructed by Pakistan, source: https://mapio.net/pic/p-20939133/

29


and ditches. Every couple of kilometers the wall

has been punctuated either with an observation

tower or a fortified base including one or

several buildings surrounded by a ditch. The

entire system has been communicated with

one road strictly following the fortification belt.

Interestingly, despite the evident importance of

border permeability for the Baloch people, the

project encountered no opposition from the

Pakistani government. [16] Without surprise,

this only embittered the relations between the

Balochi people and the state. [17] According

to governmental statements, ‘the fencing will

improve the economy and legal trade between

the two neighboring countries. [18] It is

presumed, however, that the real main reason

for erecting another multimillion barrier is

the fear of not being able to suppress Balochi

independence rebellions. [19] Despite more and

more unified substance of the fortifications,

when observing the satellite photographs, one

can easily grasp several interruptions within

it. These, occurring every dozen kilometers,

originate mainly in natural phenomena,

namely the seasonal streams and rivers that

have been penetrating the border for years

before anyone thinking of materializing

any physical instance of the political border.

Apart from natural ones, however, there

are obviously another, man-made planned

interruptions of the border, namely road

crossings.

(IL)LEGAL APERTURES

Although there are multiple crossings at the

Pakistani-Iranian frontier, only the Taftan-

Mirjaveh remains official. [20] The crossing

is infamous mostly for its significance

related to human trafficking. Its main route

departs from 600km (about 12 hours) distant

province capital – Quetta, and leads through,

as called by natives, ‘London Road’ that

terminates at Zahedan on the Iranian side. [21]

According to the official trade agreements,

Taftan-Mirjaveh remains the only crossing

where commodities can be legally transited.

Though, the notion of (il)legality in this

particular context becomes very slippery.

Interestingly, the goods become considered

traded illegally as soon as Iranian-origin ones

reach beyond the limits of Chaghai district.

[22] Nevertheless, despite trade being officially

allowed to be practiced merely between families

inhabiting border areas, the crossing is being

extensively used by smugglers coming from

Left: interior of a grocery shop in Taftan, Right:small shops at the Taftan village,

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLB4raJDfPM&ab_channel=Balochistan%3ALandofBeauty

30


Left: Donkeys used by smugglers. Right: A group of Zamyads in Jodar

Source: https://www.southpunjabnews.com/2019/06/the-iranian-smugglers-trafficking-fuel.html

remote parts of the country. At Taftan

checkpoint, in fact, two gates of different

nature operate – a tax-free one, as well

as FIA’s (Federal Investigation Agency)

gate, through which Pakistan exports and

imports only taxed goods. [23] Apart from

the actual border crossing facilities, the

town of Taftan hosts what can be described

as a ‘duty-free’ zone that gathers shops with

Iranian-origin (mostly alimentary) goods.

Speaking of figures, according to the report

of the International Journal of Agriculture

& Biology, it is estimated that the total value

of goods being imported either to Pakistan

or Iran through the border is respectively

around Pak. Rs. 5,915 ($ 37,12) and

29,923 ($187,80) million per year. [24] The

products being smuggled most frequently

are processed food, fresh and dried fruits,

spices, vegetables, biscuits, broiler, eggs. As

far as non-edible products are concerned

these are mostly ‘petroleum and its

products, electronic goods, carpets, tiles,

plastic made household items, blankets,

candles, tarcoal, scrap, cosmetics, soaps,

dishwasher, washing powder, sui gas lamps,

veterinary medicines, and pesticides. ‘ [25]

Among these commodities, one especially

demands violent sacrifices and generates the

most profitable business for the smuggling

bosses. In the state of negligence, oil and

diesel remain particular liquids of vitality

for Balochi to strive for surviving.

CAPILLARIES, VEINS, AND THE

ARTERY

Taking into account that fuel price in

Pakistan is approximately twice as high as

behind the frontier, a fact that petroleum

plays probably the most crucial role in

the local border economies cannot stand

for a surprise. Consequently, in a year,

as much as about 26.4 million gallons

of fuel are estimated to illegally depart

from Iranian Sistan and Balochistan

provinces. [26] To understand the

smuggling phenomenon properly, It needs

to be conceived as a subdivided set of

phenomena that occur on various scales,

each posing a distinctive characteristic.

The smallest scale smuggling occurs

between families living in the villages

alongside the border, whose size is often

limited to only several houses. In such

cases, it is very common that the smuggled

goods are straightaway consumed by a

smuggler’s family or being sold to the

neighbors. That way, commodities are not

further participating in a larger, countryscale

system. It is especially in the context of

the small scale smuggling, that the border’s

porosities, its small disruptions, have

31


always played a vital role in the

families’ strive for getting by.

What poses as nodes of a greater transit system

are road crossings. Starting from the north

these are Taftan, Kuhak, Pishin-Mand, or

Gabd-Kumb (Kuldan) crossing. [27] Through

these openings, not only food, alcohol,

electronics, or oil, but also drugs (coming as far

as from Afghanistan) penetrate, to then spread

across the entire country. [28] At the seaside

areas, several jetties punctuating Gwadar

Bay function as nodes of naval oil smuggling

- whether with small motorboats or larger

ships, bringing petroleum from Chabahar

port or is neighboring villages to Pakistan and

then further (mainly to Muscat or Somalia).

All above, however, could be perceived as of

minor importance in relation to the central,

largest smuggling off-road route, where the

most important oil mafias operate, with its

culmination in the desertic, mountainous

Jodar area. [29] The convoys of smugglers are

easily recognizable as they usually drive Toyota

trucks or Zamyads - produced in Teheran blue

pick-ups. Tax-freed, these are not registered,

therefore it is impossible to estimate how many

are moving across the country. On both sides

of the border, the business bosses – arbabswho

usually possess around 20 of these cars,

communicate with each other negotiating the

prices and commissioning the orders for the

oil. Departing from Dalbandin, where most of

them reside, they form 6-7 car convoys, (each

car carrying about 2 220 - 2 700 liters of fuel

or oil in blue tanks or barrels) and drive along

London Road up to the village of Gat, from

where they get off-road on the West, through

the vast area of Hamun-e-Mashkel periodic

lake. After long hours of drive, smugglers

arrive at the Jodar border where they take place

in the long queue among other Zamyads. The

smugglers spend a night in their cars, to then, as

the morning comes, be first to bribe Pakistani

Frontier Corps and enter the Jodar area - the

‘marketplace’ where the petroleum is traded. On

the other side of the frontier, Iranian Balochs

– the sellers, endeavor a risky journey through

the mountains after tanking at the fuel depots.

In the mountains, donkeys are used to carry oil

tanks and barrels - the areas have been mined,

therefore the animals are left to pass first. [30]

Oil smuggling, particularly at its largest

intensity described above, holds the label of a

highly criminalized business. However, when

zooming out on a larger cross-territorial scale,

we may evidence a much more vast and at

least comparable murky system. It is said that

even ’more than 50% of narcotics produced

in Afghanistan are transited via the Pak-Iran

route to international markets. [31] In order to

avoid risk, after having penetrated the Afghan-

Pakistan border, large-scale smugglers disperse

their commodity. Mostly these are private

homes in the nearby or remote villages that

are being rented to deposit rather insignificant

amounts of drugs. After some time, the goods

continue on their way across the country. From

time to time it occurs that some members of the

stocking families are more actively engaged in

the process chain, becoming passers or dealers.

[32]

THE LIVING INFRASTRUCTURE

If the above-described practices are seen

as operating with the use of material

infrastructure, it is even more vital to recognize

its social infrastructure. By this notion (not

distant from what AbdouMaliq Simone

verbalized as the infrastructure of people ) [33]

the whole set of intertwined constantly fluid

social relations that propel a mobile system

is understood. Depending on the trade’s final

target, intensity, scale, or morphology of

the physical context in which it perpetuates,

living components of these infrastructures

intertwine with the physical ones, generating

a fluid, ephemeral systemic set of phenomena,

acquiring quasi-rhizomatic nature.

Particularly when observing the circumstances

of the oil smuggling, its functioning can be

argued to have a very systemic, repetitive nature,

comparable to a large living network. Taking the

Jodar case, it possesses attributes of a systemic

32


imaginary, perpetuating a whole inventory of

inherent characteristics, circumstances, and

artifacts. The route consists of multiple living

nodes (re)drawing special connections within

consecutive steps – arbabs remotely placing their

orders; individual smugglers forming gangs that

execute these orders, driving specially adapted

uniform vehicles, by their way using premises

of informal ‘hotels’, converting animals to both

vehicles and safety devices, finally purchasing

the access to the actual market that is being

in fact unofficially orchestrated by the agency

of the paramilitary corps. The entire process

operates under the ambiguous and often

inconsistent relation towards smuggling of

various law enforcement groups that, despite

official stigmatization of smuggling by the state,

participate within it as guards, guides, or even

conductors or competitors. Depending on the

circumstances or the particular narrative, the

police pose either as an enemy or ally; the state

performs as prosecutor or participant; buyers

turn into beings sellers, employers temporarily

transmutes to employees. In parallel, most

of them constantly alternate between being

acknowledged as either ‘poor’ or ‘criminal’.

This exchangeability of the actors’ roles, fluid

unstable relation between them brings in a

reference to, what Deleuze and Guattari framed

as, the agencement, in which the components can

be ‘displaced and replaced within and among

other bodies, thus approaching systems through

relations of exteriority’. [34] The heterogeneity

of the smuggling network elements, either

human and non-human ones, is characteristic

of this term’s framework. Accordingly,

in the theory of assemblage, the division

between social-material becomes blurred. [35]

To summarize - very spontaneous and

disordered as may seem at first glance, the

smuggling practices, when well scrutinized,

reveal a whole spectrum of complexities

and orders within its operational systemic

structures. These living structures not only

entwined with the material, traditionally

understood, infrastructure, but also – what

becomes the crucial argument of the research

- pose as self-contained independent social

‘living’ infrastructures. These, accommodating

engagement of living matter, acquires the

identity of a device that not only generates lifegiving

fluxes but also perpetuates and sustains

the existence of life in itself, in the hostile

mountainous desertic lands of Balochistan.

Finally, the economic self-sustaining of these

trade corridors give upon a question the actual

role of the state, as well as cross-national scale

emerging projects, that Balochi are forced to be

part of.

33


Diagrammatic imaginary of fluxes structure occurring within spatial practices of informal trade.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Gilles

Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus (London:

Athlone, 1988).

[2] Simone AbdouMaliq, “People as

Infrastructure: Intersecting Fragments in

Johannesburg,” Public Culture, no. 2004):407-

29, http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/1946/

[3] Brian Larkin, “The Politics and Poetics

of Infrastructure,” Annual Review

of Anthropology, no. October 2013,

2013):https://doi.org/10.1146/annurevanthro-092412-155522

[4] Ibid.

[5] Tilak Devasher, Pakistan the Balochistan

Conundrum (2019).

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] “Investment Opportunities”, GWADAR

DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, accessed

29 November, 2020, http://www.gda.gov.pk/

investment-opportunities/

[10] KHAWAR ABBAS, “Socio-Economic

Impacts of China Pakistan Economic Corridor

(Cpec) at Community Level. A Case Study of

Gwadar Pakistan.,” (University of Agder, 2019).

34


[11] Devasher, Pakistan the Balochistan

Conundrum.

[12] “Introduction”, China-Pakistan Economic

Corridor, accessed 29 November, 2020, http://

cpec.gov.pk/introduction/1

[13] “Grey Market”, financial-dictionary,

accessed December 22, 2020, https://

financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/

Grey+economy

[14] “Delineated Border”, Topological

Atlas, accessed 10 November, 2020, https://

topologicalatlas.net/pakistaniran

[15] “Iran–Pakistan Border”, Wikipedia, accessed

14 November, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/

wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Pakistan_border

[16] E. G. H. Joffé and Richard N. Schofield,

Geographic Realities in the Middle East and

North Africa : State, Oil and Agriculture (2021).

[17] “Pakistan to Fence Border with Iran”,

Anadolu Agency, accessed 2020, 17 November,

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/

pakistan-to-fence-border-with-iran/1422980

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] “The Longest Border Crossing in the

World”, Lost With Purpose, accessed 1

November, 2020, https://www.lostwithpurpose.

com/the-longest-border-crossing-in-the-world/

[21] Ibid.

[22] “Trade or Smuggling?”, Farman Kakar,

accessed 12 November, 2020, https://www.

thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/560666-tradesmuggling

[23] Ibid.

Opportunities, Limitless Rewards,” Pakistan

Horizon Vol. 67, No. 3/4 (July-October 2014),

pp. 43-70 (28 pages), no. 2014):https://www.

jstor.org/stable/44988710?seq=1

[25] Ibid.

[26] “Iranian Smugglers Trafficking Fuel

into Pakistan”, southpunjabnews.com,

accessed 13 November, 2020, https://www.

southpunjabnews.com/2019/06/the-iraniansmugglers-trafficking-fuel.html

[27] Wikipedia, “Iran–Pakistan Border”.

[28] “The Iran-Pakistan Border Barrier”,

Martin W. Lewis, accessed November 17, 2020,

https://www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/theiran-pakistan-border-barrier

[29] “Oil, Sweat and Tears”, Muhammad Akbar

Notezai, accessed November 2, 2020, https://

www.dawn.com/news/1489874

[30] Ibid.

[31] “Pakistani Officials Eye Fence as Solution

to Iran-Based Militants”, Abdul Ghani Kakar,

accessed https://pakistan.asia-news.com/

en_GB/articles/cnmi_pf/features/2019/03/28/

feature-01

[32] Notezai, “Oil, Sweat and Tears”.

[33] AbdouMaliq, “People as Infrastructure:

Intersecting Fragments in Johannesburg.”

[34] “Assemblage (Philosophy)”, Wikipedia,

accessed December 22, 2020, https://

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblage_

(philosophy)

[35] Colin McFarlane Ben Anderson,

“Assemblage and Geography,” Area, no.

2, 2011):124-27, https://www.jstor.org/

stable/41240473

[24] Saif Asif Khan, “Trade Routes through

Pakistan’s Western Border Countless

35


BIBLIOGRAPHY

ABBAS, KHAWAR. “Socio-Economic Impacts

of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (Cpec)

at Community Level. A Case Study of Gwadar

Pakistan.”: University of Agder, 2019.

AbdouMaliq, Simone. “People as Infrastructure:

Intersecting Fragments in Johannesburg.” Public

Culture 16(3), no. 2004): 407-29. http://research.

gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/1946/

Agency, Anadolu. “Pakistan to Fence Border

with Iran”. Accessed 2020, 17 November. https://

www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistan-to-fenceborder-with-iran/1422980.

Topological Atlas. “Delineated Border”. Accessed

10 November, 2020. https://topologicalatlas.net/

pakistaniran.

AUTHORITY, GWADAR DEVELOPMENT.

“Investment Opportunities”. Accessed 29

November, 2020. http://www.gda.gov.pk/

investment-opportunities/.

Ben Anderson, Colin McFarlane. “Assemblage and

Geography.” Area 43, no. 2 2011): 124-27. https://

www.jstor.org/stable/41240473

Corridor, China-Pakistan Economic.

“Introduction”. Accessed 29 November, 2020.

http://cpec.gov.pk/introduction/1.

Deleuze, Gilles, Félix Guattari, and Gilles Deleuze.

A Thousand Plateaus. London: Athlone, 1988.

Devasher, Tilak. Pakistan the Balochistan

Conundrum. 2019.

financial-dictionary. “Grey Market”. Accessed

December 22, 2020. https://financial-dictionary.

thefreedictionary.com/Grey+economy.

Joffé, E. G. H., and Richard N. Schofield.

Geographic Realities in the Middle East and North

Africa : State, Oil and Agriculture. 2021.

Kakar, Abdul Ghani. “Pakistani Officials Eye

Fence as Solution to Iran-Based Militants”.

Accessed https://pakistan.asia-news.com/en_GB/

articles/cnmi_pf/features/2019/03/28/feature-01.

Kakar, Farman. “Trade or Smuggling?”. Accessed

12 November, 2020. https://www.thenews.com.pk/

tns/detail/560666-trade-smuggling.

Khan, Saif Asif. “Trade Routes through Pakistan’s

Western Border Countless Opportunities, Limitless

Rewards.” Pakistan Horizon Vol. 67, No. 3/4 (July-

October 2014), pp. 43-70 (28 pages) no. 2014):

https://www.jstor.org/stable/44988710?seq=1

Larkin, Brian. “The Politics and Poetics of

Infrastructure.” Annual Review of Anthropology

Vol. 42:327-343, no. October 2013 2013): https://

doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092412-155522

Lewis, Martin W. “The Iran-Pakistan Border

Barrier”. Accessed November 17, 2020. https://

www.geocurrents.info/geopolitics/the-iranpakistan-border-barrier.

Notezai, Muhammad Akbar. “Oil, Sweat and

Tears”. DAWN, Accessed November 2, 2020.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1489874.

Purpose, Lost With. “The Longest Border Crossing

in the World”. Accessed 1 November, 2020. https://

www.lostwithpurpose.com/the-longest-bordercrossing-in-the-world/.

southpunjabnews.com. “Iranian Smugglers

Trafficking Fuel into Pakistan”. Accessed 13

November, 2020. https://www.southpunjabnews.

com/2019/06/the-iranian-smugglers-traffickingfuel.html.

Wikipedia. “Assemblage (Philosophy)”. Accessed

December 22, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Assemblage_(philosophy).

“Iran–Pakistan Border”. Accessed 14

November, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Iran%E2%80%93Pakistan_border.

36


PART III

modi operandi workshop

37


1950 m

model

38


MODI OPERANDI - EXERCISE 1

Within the modi operandi

workshop, the three models

were made - following macro,

mezzo, and micro scales.

The first exercise concerning

macro-scale smuggling perceived

as a set of corridors that create

irregular network systems being

highly dependent and adaptable to

the mountainous landscape

border

net(work)

site

smuggling as fluid network dependent on the landscape

39


MODI OPERANDI - EXERCISE 2

In the second exercise, the phenomenon

was investigated at the mezzo scale. What

becomes evident for this task was exploring

the notion of elevation and height. It has

been inferred that the entire smuggling

process bases on constant migration between

different elevations. The social situations

that sum up for successful smuggling are

tightly connected to the different heights.

This led to building the model in which

the representations of different smuggling

situations are stratified and sandwiched

in between fragments of the landscape at

different elevations. At the same time, the

trade flows connect these situations on both

sides of the border.

3900 m

1950 m

PAKISTAN

0 m

IRAN

smuggling situations migrate between elevations

40


model

41


42

model photographs


MODI OPERANDI - EXERCISE 3

In the last exercise, the microscale

was examined, concretely the

notion of desertic landscape

materiality and, in particular, the

phenomenon of the sandstorm,

which is a very common atmospheric

component of the Jodar area.

Therefore, the condition of the

sandstorm was simulated in order

to test visual behavior and shifts of

visibility of various materials types.

Eventually, it was plastic, sandstone,

polished steel, painted metal, and

timber that have been tested.

plastic

wood

painted metal

sandstone

polished metal

sandstorm simulation and visibility tests

43


PART IV

design

44


Mashkel

Saravan

project concept

HIDE AND SEEK

The concept bases on the

locations around the gaps

in the border fortifications,

naturally created by the

periodic rivers. It envisions

the design of model spatial

premises, that would enable

smugglers to maintain their

occupation and let them

reside at their independent

cross-border settlement.

The complex, labyrinthic

structure of these premises,

thanks to its obscurity and

confusion evoking would

help smugglers to escape

police pursuits, that currently

deter them from trading.

The project is therefore

expected to spatialize a

condition of a ‘hide and seek’

game that is being played out

between smugglers from both

sides of the border and law

enforcement forces.

45


IRN

OIL & DIESEL

A

Quett

Zahedan

TIRES

SMUGGLED CARS &WRECKS

Gwadar

Turbat

Sandak

SANDAK MINES

STONE

earthquake prone areas

PK

s t

o

b a m b

border

Karachi

PAKISTAN STEEL MILLS

MATERIALS USED

Pakistan is rich with a great

variety of resources including

mining minerals, bamboo,

or clay. Smugglers take

advantage of it and smuggle

various building materials

produced in different parts

of the country, often on very

long distances. In addition to

that, they reuse left-overs of

smuggled commodities such

as car particles, solar panels,

or oil barrels.

46


b r

FG

Islamabad

BRICK

s

e

p

r

o

d

u

c

r

k

c

i

a

Lahore

BAMBOO

n e m i n e s

o o p r o

d u

T

c e

r s

Multan

Faisalabad

map of materials supply

47


s t e e

Q u e

t t a

BIRTH OF A WALL

bamboo from Punjab

l s t r u c t u r e

f r o m

reused tires from villages along N40 and N85 highways

layer 1: hiding wall - foundations

In the very beginning,

smugglers willing to hide

either themselves or their

commodities from the

upcoming danger set up

foundations made of reused

car tires. They build up the

structure of a wall that at the

same time is going to be a

camouflaged hiding corridor,

covered with natural stone

brought from northern

mineral mines

48


s t o n e f r o m

S a i n d a k

m i n e s

layer 1: hiding wall - stone envelope

They raise the structure of a

wall that at the same time is

going to act as a camouflaged

hiding corridor, being covered

with natural stone brought

from northern mineral mines

49


BIRTH OF A WALL

b a m b o o f r o m P u n j a b

r e u s e d b r

i c k f r o m e a r t h q u a k e s u ff e r e d v

i l l a g e s

layer 2: habitation

- reused brick

In the next stage of settlement

development, when not having

to hide anymore, smugglers

construct another layer on

the already existing stone

wall. This one will give them

a proper shelter and will be

constructed of reused brick,

brought here partly from

the nearby villages that had

suffered severe earthquakes

and partly from the brickyards

on the east of Pakistan.

50


layer 2: habitation - bamboo buttress

To prevent damages in case of

an earthquake, the stability

of the wall will be reinforced

with buttresses in the form

of scaffoldings, constructed

out of bamboo that had been

brought here from Lahore.

51


b a m b o o f r o m P u n j a b

r e u s e d c a r t i

r e s f r o m l o c a l m a r k e t s

layer 3: leisure - reused car tires

After another portion of time,

when having been already

settled down in a labyrinth,

smugglers will naturally

tend to provide themselves

comfortable leisure spaces.

These will be provided on

the roofs of their shelters.

That way, another layer of

the wall will be created - this

time composed of reused

smuggler’s car tires, already

worn out from the frequent

rallies across the country to

their border. These tires, filled

with earthbags in which the

primitive plants can grow, will

provide comfortable microclimatic

conditions lowering

down the temperature and

raising humidity on the roof

terrace.

52


r e u s e d o

i l b a r r e l s f r o m l o c a l m a r k e t s

layer 4: rainwater harvesting

- reused oil barrels

Naturally, growing plants,

even if primitive, demands

water. This one will be

harvested from the rain,

with the use of another layer,

constructed out of metal oil

barrels recuperated from the

local marketplaces.

53


layer 4: rainwater harvesting

- bamboo rain catchers

Smugglers will further

ameliorate rainwater supply,

directing rain to the barrels

with rain catchers in the

form of bamboo gutters.

At that moment, the

wall reaches its maturity.

However, the desert is not

going to host smugglers

forever.

54


deconstruction & reuse

The regularly occurring

sandstorms, gradually, but

inevitably will accumulate

sand in-between the walls

of the labyrinth. There will

be therefore the time for the

smugglers to move, and find

another location for their

new walls. The process then

is played the other way round;

the wall gets decomposed,

and the materials are

collected for future reuse,

up to the point when the

wall eventually regresses

to its rudimental form.

In the burrows where

smugglers were previously

storing their belongings, now

they will burry their fellow

comrades which passed

away in the desert. They will

perpetually rest inside the base

of the structure that was giving

them shelter during their

lives; before being eventually

swallowed by a sand-dune.

55


PRECEDENTS OF A LABYRINTH

Smugglers will choose a

location for their labyrinth,

observing the lifecycle of

periodic rivers that penetrate

the border fortifications.

Moving across the desert they

will follow dried-out riverbeds

to finally gather at the

fortification gap and commit

their trades. After some

time spent there, they will

eventually set up the origin

of a future settlement. The

smugglers will initially bring

the pre-constructed mobile

facilities that will temporarily

serve them as mobile pit toilets,

hiding places, camouflaged

to appear as barrel stacks or

lounges made out of halved oil

tanks.

smugglers gathering at the border

56


smugglers flow following traces of dried rivers

mobile facilities arrives

57


TERRITORIAL GROWTH

phase 1

First, the stone walls emerge,

which will provide a minimal

degree of obscurity.

58


phase 1

In the course of time, the

structure will organically

grow along the riverbed

59


phase 2

Further, after the next several

years of development, the

settlement will need more

space therefore it will start

broadening away from the

riverbed, and will gradually

create spaces for proper

habitation. This is when the

brick layer added on the

already existing stone wall will

come into play.

60


phase 2

Smugglers will start

seeking proper shelters, that

would provide the sense

of safety but still retain

the necessary anonymity,

Therefore, they will

introduce another layer

in the very central, most

dense areas of the labyrinth.

That way, these areas will form

high, dense, obscure sectors

filled with refugee-like shelters

that will host anyone in need

of rest. Gradually these will be

becoming private homes.

61


phase 3/4

At that stage of development,

the labyrinth will reach its

maturity and eventually will

become a proper desertic

village of smugglers. Already

existing for years and giving

fruitful benefits from trade to

all actors of smuggling process,

the village eventually gets the

recognition of authority.

62


moving the labyrinth to another gap

However, after years of

sand getting accumulated

in between the walls, the

structure will slowly get

unusable. Smugglers will then

use another gap in the border,

and move their labyrinth,

perpetuating the entire

process over and over again.

63


TRADING AREA ZOOM-IN

Smugglers will adapt their

trading area to periodic river

cycles. They will either do trades

at the riverbed or, when the

river emerges, transport their

goods with rafts constructed

from oil barrels and bamboo, or

even totally colonize the river

with enclosed traffic lanes and

specially destined fishing sectors.

64


65


SHELTERING AREA ZOOM-IN

These areas will form high,

dense, obscure sectors filled

with refuge-like shelters that

will host anyone in need of

rest. Gradually these will be

becoming private homes. The

units will be suspended above

the ground, to allow the traffic

to pass through the corridors,

as well as to prevent from

being flooded. The bamboo

buttresses supporting the

walls will at this moment

additionally serve as shelves

for storing the commodities

above the ground.

66


FARMING AREA ZOOM-IN

Smugglers will bring their

animals to the labyrinth and

start growing plants with the

use of harvested rainwater

and compost. In this way, the

outlying areas of the settlement

will be coming into life.

67


SOCIALIZE/LEISURE AREA ZOOM-IN

Naturally, rivers will become the

backbone of a village, organizing

its social life, and becoming a

trigger of integration between the

Iranian and Pakistani smugglers.

It is here where life during the

free time will flourish. Families

and friends from both sides of

the border will enjoy their time

together, eating, organizing

feasts, and eventually arranging

cross marriages.

68


This is where Balochs

eventually will become

united again, regardless

of the national frontier.

Adapting to the river

condition, they will benefit

from free traffic flow, either,

when the river emerges will

use car overpasses, barrel

rafts, and provisional walking

bridges, eventually taking over

the fortifications.

69


THE LABYRINTH(S) GENERATOR

During the design process, the

grasshopper script was created

that accommodates the earlier

elaborated spatial strategy to

the site-specific conditions.

As a result, the algorithm

generates instances of

labyrinths adapted to the

specific gap indicated in

the course of the border.

Additionally, the algorithm

organizes gradation of

labyrinth density and height of

the walls - the least dense areas

composed of shortest walls are

generated along the riverbed

and on the edges of the

labyrinth - in order to create

more public, less clandestine

areas along the river that will

enable to trade, socialize,

grow food and move relatively

maximal density points generation

defiining point attractors

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smoothly. On the contrary,

the densest clandestine

fragments composed of the

highest walls are generated in

the heart of the labyrinth, to

meet the needs of privacy and

anonymity when necessary, as

well as to provide permanent

shading in the habitation area.

As input information, the

algorithm is fed with the

following variables: the

course of the river trace, the

supervision radius of the

closest observation tower,

and the overall desired

offset from the fortifications.

That way, countless instances

of labyrinths may be brought

into life.

walls footprints from points

extrusion based on height gradation

grasshopper script

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expample 1


expample 2

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expample 3


expample 4

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THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN


section through a labyrinth

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Most outlying areas of the

structure are destined to

become a farming sites. It

is there where rainwater

will be directly harvested to

crops and animals watering

tanks. The inedible plants

will be additionally fertilized

with compost from human

waste. The camels, mules,

and donkeys regularly used

by the smugglers to carry

their commodities, will rest

here, under the textile, double

canopy.


farming area

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The eating area situated closer

to the habitation zone will

provide more comfortable

conditions for humans. Higher

and denser walls will deliver

shading, and a double canopy

will keep the cooler air inside.


eating area

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The very heart of the labyrinth,

which is the habitation area,

will introduce a vertical

division of space: one can pass

under the sheltering units,

which are enclosed with textile

screens to provide privacy and

indicate that a unit is already

being occupied. Over the

terrace rooftops, the reused

solar panels will be installed to

provide a unit with electricity.


sheltering area

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sheltering area

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Moving closer to the riverside,

we will encounter the zone

of trade where the mobile

structures occupy the shores

of the river, which can be

eventually tackled by the

bamboo bridge.

trading area

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trading area

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MOBILE FACILITIES

Mobile facilities dispersed in a

labyrinth serves as a variable

that constantly changes the

structure of the settlement and

therefore boosts its confusing

character of space.

mobile hiding spots

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mobile toilets

mobile trading lounges

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FUNCTIONAL AREAS - PERSPECTIVE VIEWS


farming area

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trading area

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socializng area

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sheltering area

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BUILDING TECHNOLOGY

A fully developed wall is basing

on the bamboo structure that

is responsible for the barrels

and tires loads, transferring

them vertically to the brick

layer and then down to the

foundations and eventually to

the ground.

structural scheme

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final 1:35 model of a labyrinth’s wall

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wall components

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reused tires foundations

load bearing structure

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joint between stone & brick layers

bamboo buttress joint

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roof structure

joint between brick & tires layers

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water harvesting/distributing tank

water harvesting barrel tank

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Speaking of climatic aspects,

the choice of materials and

architectural solutions were

chosen to provide relatively

comfortable conditions in an

extremely human-unfriendly

desertic environment. As a

result, the design passively

benefits from the atmospheric

differences between

daytime and nighttime.

During the day, the

corridors of the labyrinth

are being naturally

ventilated by the winds

coming from the riverside.

These winds at the same

time

cross-ventilate

sheltering units, in which

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climatic diagram: daytime

climatic diagram: night time

built-in ventilation holes

transfer the warmer air out.

During hot daytime, the mass

of the stone and brick wall

gives out a gentle chill after

a freezy desertic night. The

harvested rainwater, as well

as plants additionally, give out

humidity making the terrace

rooftop a nice leisure space.

Inversely, during the cold night,

the massive parts of the walls

give out the heat accumulated

during the day, therefore

delivering comfortable

temperature conditions inside

the structure.

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appendix

alternative design iterations

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boats craft

mangrooves

farming

aquacultures

bath facility

temporal storage

transaction corner

tower for observing police

camouflage parking

eating place

dormitory

garrage

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animals breeding

settlement

remote water provision

farming crops

refuge (shelter)

moutain guide residence

temporal storage

food & water point

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maciekmoszant@o2.pl

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