Logan Weaver and Alexandra Adamski
New Normals, Winka Dubbeldam and Matthijs Bouw
New Normals aims to create a series of resilient architectures that can be deployed to areas of the Mississippi whose current built environments are insufficient to withstand the natural events of the Anthropocene. Flooding, storms, climate change, and erratic weather patterns push back against the current state of the river and threaten to cause expensive and irreversible damage to contemporary human interventions. In the near future, events that are currently considered catastrophic will become commonplace, and human habitation will prove unsustainable. Our project begins with the idea that architecture can play a role in creating sustainable and resilient ways to live in a world where calamities are normalized.
New Normals embraces the Anthropocene and its climatic conditions as a challenge and opportunity to create innovative and lasting designs. Its brand suggests that human culture has the ability to survive in the Anthropocene, but must embrace a way of living that is, as yet, unfamiliar. To this extent, New Normals helps to usher in this new way of life in a gradual but assertive manner, preparing humanity for a new set of ecological and cultural imperatives.
The initial project is proposed as a government-funded venture through which the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam (which in its decommissioned state is costing the government over $3 million a year in maintenance fees) can be repurposed as a reactivated as an economically productive entity. The satellites that are produced on site are commissioned by communities in areas that are in danger. This requires potentially connecting to local economies and governments that wish to outpace imminent calamities and avoid the expensive damages that will inevitable be caused by increased floods and other natural disasters. The project’s profitability relies on the ability of the initial investors to embrace the long-term benefits of manufacturing and installing resilient architectures.