403C.1 Research Studio, Staging the New Normal
Kevin Daly, Lecturer
This research studio, Staging the New Normal, is a design analog to the Urban Humanities Initiative led by Professor Dana Cuff. The research component of the studio will focus on the development of narratives of risk, resilience, and recovery in the contemporary megalopolis.
Recent extreme weather events like Katrina and Sandy, extensive wildfires in the Western US, and the combined natural and environmental disasters of the Great East Japan Tsunami and the subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant have led to greater scrutiny of the precarious set of assumptions that underlie the relationships we establish for the interface of the natural and manmade environment. 
The broader issue of rising sea levels has been the subject of technical projections and the source for design speculation in exhibits like Rising Tides at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The vastness and society-wide impacts of the disaster of March 31, 2011 in Japan introduces a super-wicked problem so multifaceted and complex that it defies systematic intervention. Nested economic, social, technological assumptions contribute to a set of variables that are interrelated and simultaneous, defying attempts at modeling from single disciplines or environmental factors. 
Nature of Disaster
Within the fundamental chronology of disaster response is an embedded assumption of an interim condition: the time between the disaster and the presumed return to normal. This chronology assumes a cyclical or wave like series of events: life as we know it, the interim—response and assessment—and the return to normal. The focus of the studio is an effort to investigate the spatial characteristics of this interim space through the creation of public spaces adjacent to athletic venues that will be developed for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Students: Casey Amberger, Ya Gao, Sasha Geisler, Dema Hajmurad, Andresa Maia, Stephanie Odenheimer, Jeff Rauch, Inkyung Ryu.