Project 4.0 New Orleans: Fall of the Armored City

New Orleans has become dependent on storm mitigation infrastructure, or armor, to hold it together and protect from flooding. There is an air of complacency and a culture of acceptance about the city’s reliance on man-made structures to hold nature at bay. When these man-made systems fail and destroy homes and lives, ┬áthe city simply repairs the broken infrastructure rather than consider a new, safer strategy. While there are vast social costs and immeasurable losses to cultural heritage to consider, vacating the city could be a viable option for the safety of a population and the health of the river system. The assumption that we can engineer our way into prolonged security is a hope built on an imaginary foundation.

Our narrative explores the idea of New Orleans being abandoned, instead of rebuilt, when its armor fails. We plan to chronicle the limited sense of urgency society fosters when addressing the way it secures citizens from disaster. We move along the continuum through a transitional phase and ultimately towards abandonment of the city. Spurred by a natural disaster, our narrative shows what the city might look like if it was permanently evacuated after a storm event, the levees torn down, and the river given its due room.


topography (800x518)

timeline (800x259)




004 storyboard copy







004 storyboard copy




004 storyboard copy