Floating: An infrastructural response to disaster
Casbarian, John J.
Master of Architecture
The bleak aftermath following recent catastrophes, natural and otherwise, owes as much to the failure of agencies, in the case of hurricane Katrina, as it does to the lack of any speedy apparatus capable of responding to, and commensurate with, the scale of the disaster, in the case of the 2004 Tsunami. An enormous death toll, (283,000 in the tsunami) and zero survivors have become typical outcomes. The legacy of these events is a new anxiety about the chances of surviving not just the event itself, but perhaps an additional period of disorganization afterwards. A barely-addressed paradox lays at the heart of disaster relief: Infrastructure crushed & lost underneath the debris field, is urgently needed to rescue and reach those lost in it. The most powerful vehicles which respond, and which do so slowly, are normative, & terrain-based, but there is no terrain to speak of, as disasters characteristically disrupt the ground-plane and local conveyance significantly. Floating strives to devise a light, adaptive system suitable for all catsatrophic scenarios; irrespective of economy, cimate, terrain, local technological development and debris coverage to reach, rescue and rehouse those affected in the immediate timeframe following onset. It advances a recovery mode that can overcome lost infrastructure very quickly and powerfully, regardless of any impasse at ground level.
Architecture; Communication and the arts