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Centre for Simulated Disaster Landscapes

Part 1 Project 2013
Fergus Seccombe
University of Westminster, UK
The Centre for Simulated Disaster Landscapes recreates disaster scenarios for the training of emergency rescue teams and development of disaster preventative landscapes.

Located on the coastal marshes of Orfordness - an isolated and extreme landscape previously used for developing missile ballistics during the First World War – a series of devices and manoeuvrable infrastructures alter the environmental conditions to simulate disasters landscapes and stage emergency scenarios. Within this landscape is a control centre designed to cope with a variety of conditions and offers respite to the workers and visitors to the site. A lecture theatre provides space to brief the workers, whilst a command room controls operations and environmental conditions.

Growing population infrastructures and changing climatic conditions have meant that the world’s exposure to natural disasters is increasing. This is particularly evident in coastal areas, where there has been the greatest increase in population and there is the highest exposure to cyclones and tsunamis. There is a need, therefore, to develop the methods by which we recover from natural disasters, and change the way that we build upon the exposed landscapes. The Centre for Simulated Disaster Landscapes would become a testing ground for developing these methods.

By practicing relief efforts and experimenting with new equipment and building techniques, the CSDL aims to reduce the vulnerability of exposed populations in coastal areas. The principal of simulated landscapes could be applied to a greater range of environments, exploring other possible disaster scenarios and situations.

Fergus Seccombe


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