16 July 2013

Ease of Access

Nevermind the obvious deterministic economic factors and incentives. Can a city engender a certain culture of criminal activity by dent of its design?...

"The burglar — like the FBI agent who tracks him — is thus operating by way of a different spatial sense of how architecture should work, how one room could be connected to another, and how a building can, in a sense, be stented: engineering short circuits where mere civilians, altogether less aggressive users of the city, would never expect to find them.

This is perhaps the most extreme, and interesting, example of how ways of interpreting the city borrowed from the world of crime — both from those committing it and those preventing it — belong in the architectural curriculum. The insights offered by slicing through the complex topology of the built environment can be extraordinary, despite the fact that, or perhaps precisely because, acting upon these insights is illegal. They are, we might joke, crimes against space."

BLDGBLOG founder Geoff Manaugh writing in the latest edition of Cabinet, theorizing about the link between urban topology, architecture, and Los Angeles's former status as "bank robbery capital of the world," full article online here.

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