Safe as houses

In the four years since the first Zombie Safe House competition back in 2010, the world has been in the throes of a zombie revival; countless games, TV shows, films and other cultural artefacts have conjured up a world where post-apocalyptic doesn’t just mean social desolation, but social desolation shared with hordes of reanimated corpses, hellbent on preventing a slow descent into pastoral stasis. If you don’t like zombies, tough luck. The safe house competition was a disappointment for those of us who saw architecture as a (literal) last refuge from the deluge of the undead. The competition only survived for two years – bitten, presumably – which either implies that the world’s architecture students tired of labouring unpaid on yet another fanciful and unbuildable typology, or the dread realisation dawned that nowhere is safe (via MeFi). The meme lingers in joke products, as well as musings on the cultural role of zombies and exactly what our obsession with shambling hordes of living dead actually means (answer: fear) / unrelated, the problems of 99 Cent, attribution and mechanical reproduction. How many other ‘fake’ masterpieces are drifting about in Google Image Search?

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