This particular research is focusing on places that are exposed to extreme seismic activity and/or its consequences. Half a billion people live in the near proximity of a volcano along the Pacifi c Rim and are affected by seismic activity and its aftermaths such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis. In areas exposed to the hazard of natural disasters most funding tends to be invested into disaster relief. With pre-emptive design and mitigation strategies, much more could be done in reducing the effects of natural disasters on both lives and infrastructure.
We expect to demonstrate the importance of involving architects and other creative professionals that can address the impact of natural disaster mitigation projects on the physical environment. These projects often represent a substantial investment monetarily, urbanistically, architecturally as well as environmentally. Besides attempting to reduce the effects of a potential natural disaster these projects could also serve as incubators for the local/regional culture and economy and be an integral part of the built environment. The research is conducted by an investigation into formal and material systems that could affect the behaviour of a natural system/phenomenon. In this exploration we are also aiming to develop simple rule based conditions that allow for more complex and highly sophisticated systemic relationships to emerge between the form and the data/performance that informs it. The intention is to understand some underlying qualities in how the built environment affects the multi-layered complexity of the natural system/phenomenon control and vice versa. What can one control? What can’t one control? What shouldn’t one control? This is being addressed in a sited proposition that is specifi cally responding to a natural disaster or the effects of it.
This is not entirely a performative project searching for the optimal empirical solution to control the effects of a natural system (better left to scientists and engineers) but we are rather seeking speculative propositions about what these projects could become urbanistically, architecturally as well as environmentally allowing us to work intuitively within systemic design. The ambition is that these ideas/visions can become the source of a generative/ speculative dialogue reasserting architecture as an important creative discipline in the fi eld of disaster mitigation/management and allowing us to exploiting the spatial opportunities afforded by such extensive infrastructures.
“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 possibilities for the built-environment to affect natural disasters.

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