Wednesday, 25 July 2018

assignment baghdad

Geoff Manaugh, author of the always intriguing and philosophically indulgent BLDGBlog, contributes a rather cloak and dagger tale to the Daily Beast about a graduate class of aspiring architects who may have unwittingly enabled the precision and sustained bombing campaign during Operation Desert Storm (the Persian Gulf War)—rather than preserving Iraqi buildings that might fall victim to the imminent invasion.
The students gathered blue-prints and layouts of every structure in the city, granting military planners the details to put a missile down a chimney or fire a rocket through a window. One wonders how often intelligence and academic research might intersect—especially counter to the sentiments and the motivations of the researchers. Manaugh also offers in the accompanying blog post an interesting exploration of the history of keeping building plans out of enemy hands and the lengths one would go to in order to keep them secret. What do you think? One would always trust an architect with one’s potential vulnerabilities without arousing suspicion.