Prophylactic Landscape

New York City    Edwin Lam | Sean Stevenson

Within the current discourse of public health, airborne viruses capable of surviving transcontinental travel have prompted widespread efforts to fortify local and global boundaries against the flow of disease. Despite the current strategies for managing disease by eliminating infected animals and quarantining infected people, efforts to halt the flow of contagions have been frustrated by the difficulty of visually representing the virus.

While images of slaughtered animals, face-masks, and decontamination procedures at airports have filled the media coverage of these epidemics, the impossibility of pinpointing the precise location of the virus has created an ever present paranoia within public spaces. The project then focuses on this emergence of paranoia within the public sphere and a reconceptualization of a synthetic terrain to manage the paranoia.

Infusing clinics within city parks, the proposed synthetic terrain consists of the three key programs within a mass prophylaxis campaign: diagnosis, distribution, and treatment. Each clinical program is then masked with a series of temporal park amenities. As the city fluctuates through different levels of contamination the park amenities recess, allowing the embedded clinic to emerge as the predominant landscape.

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