Targeting cultural heritage
Paul Virilio states, "...war is now directed not so much against the enemy's war machines as against the atmospheric ecosystem of the target country. Hence the strange inversion in the nature of the victims of a conflict unleashed 'in the name of human rights' -- a conflict in which most of the casualties are civilians and the military personnel appear to be a protected species."2 There are many examples of local, national, and international sites targeted and destroyed in the so-called 'wars in the name of humanitarian aid'. In addition, a new trend shows terrorist groups targeting symbolic cultural heritage sites in order to erase the identity of the place. The possibility of cultural heritage protection goes beyond current methodologies. What if instead we thought about a city, as Italo Calvino states, "consisting of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past," in order to design a sensitive, yet protective layer for its historic fabric? This thesis explores a theory of ange beginning with understanding the problem: cultural heritage is being targeted in conflict zones to instill fear, destroy identity, and generate symbolic propaganda. Despite the rapid development of technology and resources, the built fabric has not yet fully adapted to the needs and desires of the 21st century. The solution develops through a complex spatial vehicle: a protective layer or sacrificial skin, a replica or mask, encompassing oth tangible and intangible aspects of a cultural heritage site, that prevents destruction to both the building and the people thus creating a safe, yet historic space for public and private life. Empathy leads to insights. For the first time in human history, it is impossible to imagine what the next decade will look like much less the next century. This thesis explores one possible route to existing harmoniously with the past while continuing to progress towards a shared future.