Extreme Environments I | Seismic Extremes

“Places of Seismic Extremes” is a part of a larger research agenda of urban future organization called “Places of Extremes; Architecture of Destruction and Construction” examining the possbilities for the built-environment to affect natural disasters.

Natural Phenomena are incredibly complex in cause, effect and experience.  A single pattern or systemic logic is inadequate for modelling/simulating a contextualized (or system within system/environment) natural phenomenon such as a volcanic eruption.  For this part of the research we will be focusing on places that are exposed to extreme seismic activity or its consequences such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami’s, etc. In areas exposed to the hazard of such natural disasters most funds tend to be channelled into disaster relief.  With pre-emptive design strategies, much more could be done to maximize the architectural effect of natural phenomena whilst minimizing the effects of the natural disasters on both lives and infrastructure.

Students are asked to propose measures to counteract the effects of natural disasters as in terms of loss of lives and infrastructure. Students will have to develop an in depth understanding of the natural disaster they are working with.  They will do an on site investigation and conduct their research in collaboration with experts and bodies working with natural disaster management. They will have to understand what aspects of these large natural systems that one can predict and possibly control and which aspects are only left to chance. In simple terms, we are proposing to investigate formal and material systems that affect the behaviour of a natural system.  Form, in this case, is directly an issue of “organized complexity” of systems within systems i.e. form is directly depended on complex relationships between elements of a system when seen within a larger system or context/environment. We are attempting to get students to go beyond singular and self similar systems to explore hybrid systems and the amalgamation of conditions and phenomena that generate unforeseen behaviours. We expect the students to demonstrate the importance of getting architects and other design professionals involved in projects dealing with disaster management and other measures that are deployed to reduce the risks of natural disasters. Besides attempting to reduce the effects of a potential natural disaster these project must also operate as incubators for the local/regional culture and economy.

 
architectural association school of architecture diploma unit 16 ©2012