2020-01-27

#rp20 Speaker Geoff Manaugh — The spatial form of security vulnerabilities

Author, futurist, former Editor-in-Chief at Gizmodo and all-rounder Geoff Manaugh is known for his holistic view on architecture and the built environment. Apart from a technological point of view he likes to explore these topics “through the lens of literature, crime, history, archaeology, acoustics, science fiction, subterranean space, warfare, the planetary sciences, and more”.

Geoff Manaugh is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. His most recent book “A Burglar’s Guide to the City” explores the relationship between crime and architecture. Being one of “18 people who will tell you everything you need to know about design” (WIRED 2013) Geoff regularly publishes articles related to cities, design, crime, infrastructure, and technology for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, New Scientist and The Daily Beast among other. He is currently working on a book about the history and future of quarantine.Geoff Manaugh regularly publishes thought-provoking articles on his blog “BLDGBLOG”. He can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

ASAP—3 questions for … Geoff Manaugh

We asked Geoff about his keynote at #rp20, the most pressing issues for her at the moment and her recommended readings, music or movies.

What topic will you talk about re:publica?
For the past few years, I’ve been looking at how security vulnerabilities take spatial form, from residential burglary to acts of urban-scale siege warfare. I’m also interested in discussing how architects and urban planners are always inadvertently designing for future events over which they have no control, from crimes to riots to political assassinations, even to outbreaks of pandemic disease, like the recent Wuhan coronavirus. Architectural and urban space is often at the heart of these events, a kind of unindicted co-conspirator.

True to this year’s motto—what’s the most pressing issue for you personally at the moment?
The most pressing issue for me these days is finding a way to balance my enthusiasm for saying yes to new projects with my ability to manage already-existing deadlines!

What’s your reading, movie or music recommendation that everyone should check out ASAP?
If anthropologist Michael Taussig ever wrote a Hollywood screenplay, he might produce something like Uncut Gems: a film about African geology abstracted through New World capitalist mania, wherein a single exotic rock is used to launch an endless series of debts, bets, and leveraged calculations. The film also includes shots peering down into Manhattan apartments from one tower to the next, cash-filled bags flung from one window to another, and a brief abduction that ends up in a loop, exactly where it began. It stars Adam Sandler, of all people, but, despite that fact, I’d recommend checking it out.