One week into the school year and all anyone can talk about is the Swine Flu. Well, maybe it’s not all anyone can talk about, but it definitely has a way of infecting the majority of conversations inside and outside of studio. Some aspects of the situation seem a bit absurd (“If you live within 150 miles of campus, we encourage you to recuperate at home” = we don’t want you within three hours of Pittsburgh!) but it’s also kind of terrifying to hear the rate it spreads (if someone in studio gets it, the SoArch doesn’t stand much of a chance).
While all this is going on, you might have read that BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh is hosting a design studio in NYC called Landscapes of Quarantine to “discuss the spatial implications of quarantine”, and how design can influence disease control. Definitely planning on checking out the resultant exhibit at Storefront in a few months.
Actually, something I didn’t mention in my Fit-City post was the presentation by Karen Lee, deputy director of NYC’s Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control. She discussed New York’s war against infectious diseases in the late 19th century – by generating a water system, building parks, etc., they were able to drop the percentages of deaths caused by infectious diseases from 57 to 11% over the course of a few decades. It brings up the idea of how quarantine could exist (or not exist) on an urban scale.
Anyway, these are just some quick references that got me thinking about how something like the Swine Flu could possibly influence architecture and urban design. So…thoughts?
Also, a reminder: sign up for a WordPress account so we can add you to our list of contributing authors.