Sunday, 19 October 2014

urban-outline or shadowboxing

In a piece entitled The Civic Minimum BLDGBlog features the photographic safari of Chris Clarke through a haunting nook of a suburb on the edges of London.

This bleak, mock landscape was commissioned by the Ministry of Defense for paramilitary and police training for urban warfare—and stands strangely deserted outside of exercises. The course, which contains all of the idylls that idealistic city-planners can summon up—with all the traditional necessities and a small town, Main Street/High Street look that is increasingly crowded out by property-management agents—makes me think of those exterior-shots for a sitcom household or the flats of Wild West towns built up by Hollywood, but I cannot image that peopled this training-ground would lose its eerie aura. How effective are such scenarios when zoning and economics no longer favour such models?