What is the role of sacred places in disaster zones?
Feedback on the Katrina case study from Henry King:
I think an interesting question may be about the role of sacred spaces in disaster zones. Thinking of ground zero in Manhattan as an analogy, where are the sacred spaces in New Orleans and/or Chile, and were they planned/designed, or emergent, or inevitable? Of course, there’s a big difference in geographic spread between i) the recent Chilean miners’ disaster/miracle, ii) 911/Ground Zero, iii) New Orleans/Katrina, iv) the Chilean earthquake and I’m assuming that there’s a corresponding difference in how the sacred is defined, but it seems to me that there’s a clear role for design in the redefinition of space from mundane pre-disaster to sacred post-disaster (an emotional transformation). By sacred, of course, I mean something or someplace (or combination) that facilitates grieving, comprehension, memorialization and acceptance, and in doing so creates a community of meaning.