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    Lobster Hospitals and Ammo Igloos

    Matthew Messner
    Feb 25, '12 3:17 PM EST

    This semester our second year class has been divided in two for our Theory ARCH586 course.  I am in the section lead by Clare Lyster, entitle Urbanism as Network:Design/Theory/Acgency.  

    from the class brief

    "The seminar analyzes a series of emerging networks to examine how they are transforming the organization of cities and regions and speculates on the agency of architecture in this context."


    Based around 5 readings a week the class is a discussion on topics from logistic spaces to airports, to social networks.  Rather then discussing simply their physical or phenomilogical aspects we discuss larger issues such as these networks as catalysts (or retardants) for urbanism.  This discussion leads us to intersections of Landscape urbanism, crisis, and Walmart's effect on bar code standardization (and a Lobster hospital in Memphis).


    Each week two to three students lead a discussion through a presentation of a more specific topic that falls within the weeks greater topic.

    My week was on Logistics.  As someone who worked in the field of military ammunition logistics for eight years it was a natural pick for me.  Having seen the entire process of munition manufacturing to end user, I had never sat down to put together the pieces or think about greater implications spatially of ammo movement.  Obviously,  having to self censor certain aspects of the process out of respect for force safety, I was still able to share a part of my life that most would hardly be able to imagine.  I will be writing a short essay on the topic as my final piece for the class.  I will share it on here.  

    As part of my presentation I share areal Google images of some of the spaces of ammo. (not secret or sensitive.) As well as an image of a decommissioned bomb making facility with its multiple escape slides.


    ciao for now

    -Next post- Andrew Zago's Attack the Block seminar


    • Relatedly, you might be interested in a recent post by faslanyc where he writes about The Radford Army Ammunitions Plant as an example of the “latent reciprocity between industry, waste, and urbanism,”... and furthermore explores the generative patterns of landscape design resulting from the prescriptive reqs of storing/manufacturing munitions.

      Feb 26, 12 3:19 pm  · 

      Great tip. Thanks.

      My hope is to add to this discussion with the unique perspective of the eight years I spent in the Army working with ammunition.

      The landscapes of munitions are truly surreal in so many ways.

      Mar 1, 12 2:57 am  · 

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