Fortress America: the aesthetics of homeland security in the public realm
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Architecture communicates a message about the purpose of a space, the prestige of those who use or own the space, and the values associated with both users and owners. The aesthetics of this architecture elicit specific emotions, communicate histories, and inform worldviews. In the United States, homeland security architecture is largely a physical representation of a perceived threat of a terrorist attack in public spaces. Architecture has sociological, psychological, and cultural effects, as well as security impacts, but there is little research or discourse on the physical manifestation of homeland security in the United States. What are the consequences--intended and unintended--of homeland security architecture? How does a democratic government protect itself and design buildings and public spaces that are open, attractive, and promote both physical and psychological security? This thesis is a starting point for broader awareness and discussion within the emerging discipline of security design about the importance of aesthetics in homeland security.
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