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Architecture and Terrorism: Has America Created a Terrorists’ Imaginarium?

Part 1 Dissertation 2012
Phillipa Watkins
University of Lincoln Lincoln UK
"By the grace of terrorism the World Trade Centre has become the worlds’ most beautiful building - The eighth wonder of the world"
J. Baudrillard

Terrorism is a relevant topic today as we are in the midst of a full-scale war on terror, it has always been on our doorstep with the unrest in Northern Ireland, however, international terrorism, such as that witnessed on September 11th 2001, brought terrorism to the forefront of modern politics and the media.

What made 9/11 such a remarkable event was not just the scale of the tragedy; but also (if not rather) the symbolism embedded within it. America is often perceived to be the most powerful country in the world, with their astonishing skyscrapers, utopian way of life and their flag displayed as a symbol of the American brand. Prior to 9/11, America was often seen as untouchable, however this idea was shattered by
the events that took place on that day.

Research into the events of 9/11, the architecture and the American way of life, inspired the hypothesis of this dissertation: ‘Did America provide the foundations for terrorist attacks?’

In order to address this subject, it is important to understand the relationship between architecture and terrorism, so that the reasoning behind targeting architecture can be explored. The works of Philosopher, Jean Baudrillard are also used to explore how and why architecture and terrorism are connected, and if the ‘simulation’ of American life, which is demonstrated through their architecture and media, has created an environment which encourages terrorists to express their own extreme views.

Phillipa Watkins

Dr Francesco Proto
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