CAN OUR DISPROPORTIONATE FEAR OF DISASTER BE USED AS A TOOL TO INCREASE COMMUNITY COHESION AND BECOME A CATALYST FOR URBAN GENERATION?


What defines city living for an upmarket, but paranoid generation bombarded by iconic images of disaster?

Inspired by american studies where, post 9/11, 80% of adults said that they “had an increased appreciation for their families’ while others suddenly had the urge for intimate contact (leading to a phenomenon known as ‘teror sex’), a new form of speculative housing emerges to cater for our everyday fears.  ‘Disaster Ready’ housing offers a number of ‘better safe than sorry’ precautionary measures and cost effective architectural placebos to reassure and empower safety consious residents.  A ‘holy’ protective mesh surrounds clusters of luxury and key worker apartments.  Stage re-enactments help prepare for statistically unlikley disasters, lucky esacapes or heroic failures while landscaped antibacterial gardens fortify residents imunes systems.

Disaster Ready Housing
Type: Research 
Location: Westminster, 2025
Status: Thesis Project
Date: 2012
Project Team: Alex Smith @ The Royal College of Art

Flirting with Disaster was awarded the RCA Society and Thames & Hudson ArtBook Prize, was published in the Architects Journal, Building Magazine and "Darkitecture" a new anthology edited by Iwona Blazwick


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