Special Issue of Architectural Design on post-traumatic urbanism, concluding a four year research project on ‘questions about how trauma permeates the social cultural and political sphere into which architecture projects. ‘ By looking at the notion of  ‘trauma’ as a cathartic spectacle, an act of purification of the urban tissue rather than something to be dealt with, resolved, a new attitude emerges. A range of politically scarred sites such as Libya or Lebanon set the scene for the analysis.

‘The creative dimensions of conflict especially the politicisation of design as ‘partiality’ – that is something producing parts and distinctions of the common is explored through a series of contributions that range from an account of the formative democratic moment in Sophocles’ Antigone (Benjamin), to the Bush doctrine of pre-emption (Massumi) and the rehearsal of urban catastrophe in contemporary cinema (Fisher).’

According to Adrian Lahoud‘s lecture on the Mediterranean Laboratory, a summary on the post-traumatic ethos emerges in point form:

1.Thesis on failure

“We learn most about something at the point of its collapse”

2.Thesis on reality and endurance

“An object is only as strong as the network it is installed within”

3.Thesis on vulnerability

“Instability trains a system to adapt and increases its resilience ”

(Also known as the thesis on capital)

4.Thesis on pre-emption and temporal inconsistency

“The aftermath arrives before the event and forms its sufficient reason”

5.Thesis on blind spots

“The political dimension of any system is its blind spot.”

6.Thesis on scale as problematic

“Scale is a mode of problem posing. It refers to the binding of near and far, strong and weak, small and large. It is always conflated, always paradoxical.”

7.Thesis on calculated provocation

“If collapse reveals the truth of the object, then disturbance is an epistemological strategy

8.Thesis on unbinding problems and absolving complexity

“There are more non-relations than relations”

9.Thesis of reciprocity

“The problem conditions the part, the part conditions the problem”

10.Thesis on the political agency of networks

“There is more force in a question than an answer.”

More information can be found here.