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Life at the (L)edge After Extraction

Part 2 Dissertation 2020
Nico Alexandroff
Royal College of Art | UK
I spent the first eighteen years of my life in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, growing up surrounded by the extraction of limestone for use in architecture. During the lockdown, I spent a protracted period of time at my family home, and the familiar 11am siren of my childhood—the one that sounded out across the landscape to warn of imminent blasts— rang out, still. Another warning, another extraction.

This dissertation reconceptualises the relationship between architecture and its modes of extraction. It extends what architects, policymakers and the wider community typically understand as the ‘built environment’ to include quarries, supposedly ‘rewilded’ landscapes and policy and planning documents as terrains of engagement. It examines the damage done to landscapes—particularly in its social and ecological repercussions— together with, crucially, the legislative mechanisms that are complicit in environmental degradation. This dissertation rejects the tendency toward simplification, engaging with the climatic crisis through an understanding of the complexity of entangled spheres of influence.

Nico Alexandroff

Mark Campbell
Adam Kaasa
Thandi Loewenson
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