Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pandemic Architecture pt 3

This is the third and last excerpt of this discussion to be posted here. Please continue to field your questions although I'd encourage everyone to present their topics here on the blog.

On Fri, 12 May 2006 18:55:30 –0700, Lionel Han <*****> wrote:

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your response.

That's right, I agree with your point on the relation between and modern living and its analogous nature to economies, ideologies, etc, which had not occurred to me before. However, I must add that pandemics are far more pervasive in nature as its spread depends on the availability of hosts. Unlike cultures and economies that are in fact human constructs, pandemics have a biological edge that enables its rapid surge through communities 'regardless of race, language or religion' (aptly taken from our National Pledge), without having to persuade or bribe its way through societal structures and mindsets.

Then again, there are lifelines yet that lie in antidotes, hygiene measures/policies and, yes, architecture and planning. What caught my attention most was your point on the emergent theory and 'isolation' as identification of principles by which the community operates. But before our intentions become too megalomaniacal, would studying responses at local scales provide a suitable response on global scale? True that vaccines and medicines can be prescribed across the board, but even then allergies exist; What more architecture that is a physical prescription of a style/typology across countries, climates and communities? Maybe it will be wiser to be more focused in the target users and even working on a smaller scale, you think?

Gotta bear in mind that the virus of concern is SARS and bird flu, the former contagion being infamous for its efficient spread and almost immediate fatal consequence of infection. Both are new phenomenons, and I guess we'd have to be equally daring in our architectural response if traditional methods are evidently inadequate.

We are Singaporeans and have just completed our 3rd year at the National Uni S'pore. We're doing a vacation project now on reassessing 'architecture', 'environment', 'ecology' and 'sustainability' and felt that architecture based on the current virological situation is a rather pertinent and relevant global topic. We only have about 3 months to complete it, so research and design has to be highly rigorous to meet the production deadline in August.
Thanks again for your responses, which have been most helpful.


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