Reciprocal Ruination: Nature & New York City
Chuff, Nora Moran
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CitationChuff, Nora Moran. 2021. Reciprocal Ruination: Nature & New York City. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractThis thesis is set in New York City, between the years of 2060 and 2300, a period in which the earlier warnings had escalated to full, protracted cataclysm. In the eventful first half of the 21st century, the United States dissolved its united federal government and transitioned to a confederation of autonomous city-states. Taking advantage of its new independence and increased control of revenue, by 2060, New York City had begun construction of a massive circular “sea wall.” This wall was a final, drastic attempt to protect the famed city from the destructive forces of the rising seas and the increasingly volatile weather events; a desperate, material reaction to a cosmic power shift. In its scale and ambition, the wall represents a monument to the bygone contemporary era. The structure physically manifested the perceived opposition between “nature” and “culture.” But, while inside and outside were now segregated by firm borders, the roles of aggressor and victim nevertheless maintained their steady process of reversal. The cosmic reckoning culminated in the failure of the wall in 2180 CE. In its subsequent fragmentary, ruined and overgrown state, the wall ultimately achieved a tragic, but harmonious integration of the formerly oppositional forces. It exemplified a brief period of equilibrium amidst the violent transition between two world orders.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367746