Agencies of reassurance
Carney, Jason Michael
Master of Architecture
With the onset of nomadic threats and non-state terror networks in the twenty-first century, ideas of centrality and monumentality in American metropolitan architecture must be re-examined. The attacks of September 11th identified the destruction of architecture, specifically 'signature architecture,' as the primary ambition of these networked threats. So it is necessary then for a re-evaluation of the protective measures applied to architecture, edifice, and culturally symbolic built forms. Network theory argues the only way to successfully fight a networked organization is with another networked organization. Therefore, this thesis proposes the networking of civic institutions in modern metropolitan Houston. The freeway system provides the organizational distribution for these portals, and the monumental scale of the freeway interchange offers a surrogate edifice on which the institutions may be grafted. In this manner new mythologies of safety and security are embedded within the metropolitan landscape. While not necessarily providing complete and real security, perhaps an impossibility, these agencies of reassurance (protective measures) fortify and diversify the municipal field, reinforcing civic identity and purpose.
Geography; Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning