Doug Bedell — September 19, 2007, 7:40 am

Countering Fear in Urban Design

Bret C. Wieseler, a student at the University of Minnesota, has won a General Design Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for reimagining post-9/11 access controls in New York’s Wall Street District.

The student’s project, (In)Security: Access and Anxiety in the Wall Street Financial District, is described as exploring “a new design vocabulary in direct response to the climate of fear and paranoia that currently drives the program and aesthetic of much contemporary urban design. The project addresses the current and future state of security in and around the Wall Street financial district, creating viable security alternatives while simultaneously questioning our nation’s current philosophy that security = freedom.”

In short, it seeks to make barriers aesthetically pleasing – one of PRO Barrier Engineering’s aims as well.

Wieseler’s concept includes four barricade designs: The Prongs, The Phalanx, The Tithing and The Oracle. The web presentation of the winning project is enticing, but not explicit. For that, contact Bret in Minneapolis. We thank him for bringing a fresh approach to urban design.

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