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RAPID RESPONSE:ARCHITECTURE AND DISASTER

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Location: HarbourFront Center, Toronto Architecture Gallery

Date: 2014 | Exhibition

With the generous support of:

Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication & Design (FCAD), SRC Committee.

A narrative told in 3 parts, Closer to Home explores domestic responses to increasingly treacherous environmental conditions,
from the natural to the engineered. Across urban and peripheral territories that typify the Canadian metropolis, a means of survival is based on mining the resources of one’s home for the provision of food and warmth when these are no longer centrally distributed. A lightweight and versatile folded surface becomes an implement of survival, adapting to conditions as varied as Toronto’s 2003 summer blackout and the Quebec ice storm of 1998. While it makes these provisions, the system also exposes the vulnerability of the human body as dictated by nutrition, temperature, and toxicity. From subdivision to high rise, homes are characterized by their dependency on networked infrastructure (water, heat and energy) as well as an arterial and externally-sourced food network that further erodes a landscape of local agriculture and water management.

The installation explores a final gradient: from collective well being to atomic survival. As environmental conditions
become increasingly perilous, the natural retreat is further into the home, culminating in the subterranean shelter. This
descent into the underground reflects the end of social cohesion in apocalyptic terms, is legitimized by past horrors, and propelled by fabricated fear.