British Standard 8213 regulates the design of windows, doors and roof lights in order to limit our exposure to risks associated with their use – entrapment, collisions and falls from height. Drawing upon a range of anthropometric data, the document specifies standard sizes for glazed lights that ensure both faces can be reached from within by 95% of the UK’s adult population, limiting the height of all domestic windows to a maximum of 1.8m. We understand standards such as BS8213 as an apparatus of government – standards and regulations posit specific freedoms for the population, by establishing standards that negate threats to those freedoms – that employs the built environment as a bio-political device. Though we recognise this as a threat to the open potency of architecture, the common-place critique of this apparatus – that it stifles our creative freedom – demonstrates the degree to which we are caught within it; to understand ourselves as subject to a trading of liberties – between creativity and
safety – is to be captivated by the liberal govern-mentality. The project presented – Compliant Architecture: Diagramming BS8213 – suspends a critique of regulation in favour of a careful study of its implications. Drawing out the standards imposed, they are seen to reveal something of the potency of building – the materiality of risk – in the process of limiting it. The project presents a series of studies that enjoy the communicativity of regulatory limits, indexing the open potential of building precisely in its being withheld.
|Conference||Further Reading Required: Building Specifications, Contracts and Technical Literature’, ‘Architecture &’ Symposium, The Bartlett, University College London|
|Period||17/02/11 → 17/02/11|