• A vernacular architecture for the West – architecture, poverty and the financial crisis

    by  • January 18, 2011 • Everything Else • 1 Comment

    Hexayurts for the world at Burning Ice Brussels 2011

    The main talk lasts about 11 minutes and starts at 2:30 in. There is also an audio-only version of the Burning Ice talk, which then goes into an hour long talk on Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps. There will also be a higher quality video of the talk available soon.

    The core argument made is that the financial crisis is a direct result of lousy building technology. Expensive, inflexible buildings created large mortgages and over-investment in the building industry and under-investment in everything else. If we had transformed the building industry in the 1960s, as Buckminster Fuller intended, perhaps all of this could have been avoided!

    I found it quite disorienting to be talking inside a huge hexayurt auditorium. I wasn’t used to people having immediate access to the reality of what I was discussing – the shock of the line between theory and practice being breached!

    Here’s a picture of the auditorium.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


    One Response to A vernacular architecture for the West – architecture, poverty and the financial crisis

    1. January 18, 2011 at 11:47 pm

      The audio gives the presential feeling even better than the video, IMO.

      The truck and foam factory and sprayed concrete (and the not-mentioned #infrapak) is, in fact, about reinventing aiac, nothing less. Part of that is appropedia, reprap, openfarmtech. So it’s already happening.

      An idea: the questions and data, the 2×2 (poor-rich, rural-urban), number of deaths in different cells of the table and through different causes – all that and more could be part of an interactive page for testing people’s knowledge-intuition-bias and helping them check the info. Tests – designed to be a bit uncomfortable – are a great way to learn new stuff!

      I must say I loved the “analytical frame + tools = survival mantra” phrase, and smiled imagining a group of artists chanting the “six ways to die” shopping list. It’s really a most weird kind of group open meditation!? Maybe 6wtD is an open meditation-wheel of sorts.

      Also, it’s strange how we all find it _hard_ to believe that the worst case (for the scenarios we can imagine out loud) is in fact more or less doable (if we stop fighting each other and ourselves, and look at the engineering facts). Not that there are not issues after the “it’s doable” realisation, of course.

      Listening to the audio was good. Thinking about the implications, even better. I wonder what others think.

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