A surface at risk is unsteady ground to consider a new architecture. The impact of Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005 quickly shifted from front-page urgency to the uncertain speculation of what legislation, financing and design strategies would establish the terms of rebuilding. This catastrophe brings into focus a new imperative to consider a more agile and resilient surface for inhabitation.
The studio considered tactics and strategies that might respond to a series of questions. How can the specificity of enclosure and inhabitation exist with the indeterminacy of the surrounding waters? What new models of constructing a site can embrace the fluctuating presence of water? What strategic reconfiguration of the city surface will provide a resilient base for higher density inhabitation? The studio envisioned new inhabitable infrastructures that redefine the relationship of water and land, inhabitation and infrastructure, and landscape, both constructed and opportunistic.
While the defensive condition of the water's edge in New Orleans is essential for its survival, the studio challenged the current planning assumptions institutionalized by federal laws and insurance programs and proposed new prototypes that redefine the relationship between land and water, landscape and home, proposing more contemporary ways of living on a fragile edge.