Diagramming BS8213: Safe Cleaning of Windows

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011
EventFurther Reading Required: Building Specifications, Contracts and Technical Literature’, ‘Architecture &’ Symposium, The Bartlett, University College London - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Feb 201117 Feb 2011

Conference

ConferenceFurther Reading Required: Building Specifications, Contracts and Technical Literature’, ‘Architecture &’ Symposium, The Bartlett, University College London
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period17/02/1117/02/11

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