Architecture and Anti-Terrorist Paranoia

This is really interesting:

(In)Security explores a new design vocabulary in direct response to the climate of fear and paranoia that currently drives the program and aesthetic of much contemporary urban design. The project addresses the current and future state of security in and around the Wall Street financial district, creating viable security alternatives while simultaneously questioning our nation’s current philosophy that security = freedom.

Full paper here.

Posted on November 1, 2007 at 11:47 AM12 Comments


Kevin D. S. November 1, 2007 1:56 PM

@ Ken…
These are Landscape Architects… You must think more “aesthetically pleasing.”
Try… Ponds of Koi (with frikin’ lasers).

Guido Fawkes November 1, 2007 3:11 PM

These designs are, as Bruce has noted, very interesting; however to me they seem to generally constitute a far greater hazard to life and limb than the terrorist threat that they purport to ameliorate.

As far as ‘The Prongs’ goes, I imagine that NYCs personal injury lawyers would have a field day were it to be implemented, with its rising and falling “staggered, steel prongs […] meeting pedestrians at face level.”

‘The Phalanx’ and ‘The Tithing’ could well be a nightmare for the blind and partially sighted. Also, the steam ‘feature’ on ‘The Tithing’ would in the summer form an ideal breeding ground for, e.g., legionella bacteria, and in the winter function as an ice-sheet maker.

‘The Oracle’, I can guarantee, would not be implemented for ‘security’ reasons – we can’t, after all, have the stinking Pleb’s getting access to the video feeds etc…

Overall, form appears to entirely trump function in this guy’s designs.

Nomen Publicus November 1, 2007 3:26 PM

Didn’t a writer called Eric Blair write an entire book about controlling a population by means of fear of “the enemy” and changing the language?

The world that was created was not a utopia.

In fact it was double-plus-ungood.

Nik November 2, 2007 4:12 AM

Interesting article. In London, UK, there have been some major efforts to improve physical security barriers while still blending in with the surroundings (and keeping the planning authorities happy). Many of the very effective vehicle barriers go completely unnoticed…

Not sure on the practicality of the suggestions in the article, but I certainly agree that it makes sense to make security barriers pleasing to the eye where feasible…

Kaukomieli November 2, 2007 5:34 AM

This is a hoax.

Just look at the wording, it’s a dead giveaway:

“(In)Security questions the ideas of freedom, security, fear and complacency within the United States, and challenges our nation’s current philosophy that security = freedom.”

“A slow, mechanical clanking of a single gear alerts those nearby that the gate is opening.”

Guido Fawkes November 2, 2007 6:24 AM

@Kaukomieli: “This is a hoax.”

You know, I think you may be right there.

The idea was buzzing around my head when I originally read the article, but I decided that it was for-real on the grounds that I’ve met a few student architechts over the years and most of them made this guy’s Wall Street scheme seem sober and serious, albeit flawed.

“Wheat, this is chaff … chaff, wheat.” 8)

Anonymous November 2, 2007 9:37 AM

I, for one, welcome our new landscape architect…
oh, sorry thought this was slashdot
It’s Friday

Erik November 4, 2007 1:46 PM

This is BS. Look at the design of Federal buildings since the Oklahoma City bombing to deflect explosion and prevent ramming from automobile. This field of study is not. new. at. all.

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