Territories of The Gulf State
Pamphlet Architecture 36
“Does Humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how?”
This Pamphlet uses the premise of a new collective space, forged through climate change, to interrogate the geographic, political, social, spatial, and ultimately experiential dimensions of a world where the consequences of global warming are met through a radical reorientation of the patterns of human life.
Climate change not only involves the practical challenges of geographic change, but the ideological struggles of societies to accept and incorporate this new reality into a successful mode of existence. We cannot, as architects, solve this problem by continuing the strategy of disaster response as our only means of contribution. We must advance projects which truly ‘project’ new ways of seeing the world and acting upon it. In responding to the challenges presented by rising sea levels, increasing intensity of weather and rising toxicity levels of natural habitats, the new ideas of “territory” presented under the collective identity of the Gulf State in this pamphlet promote a condition where humans and society function as an extension of natural processes.
The proposals advanced in this pamphlet literally and figuratively ‘bridge the gulf’ that separate us from full and adequate response to the crisis of global warming in all its myriad manifestations. It is equally a crisis of consciousness as it is a crisis of geography. The Gulf of Mexico is speculated upon as a test site for a recollected society after most/many of the estimated effects of global warming have begun to take place. Using the gulf as a locus, and with its perimeterdefined by the surrounding littoral edge of land to be lost when sea levels significantly rise, we have created a territory of vibrant space that would be otherwise inhospitable to humans living in the near future. We propose new forms of adaptation for maintaining its vitality. The gulf condition is vast and complex, yet at the same time represents a semi-closed system of interaction analogous to the scale of our planet. In this way we can develop projects of regional specificity to address the challenges facing the entire world. Just as rising sea levels will confuse the assumed distinction between land and water, so also do these projects question the many other ideological boundaries: public and private, individual and collective, architecture and environment, man and nature.
The word “state” can be understood in both the political sense as well as from the standpoint of a state of mind or matter; we invite you into our Gulf State to explore its various territories
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