Destroyed histories---restored authenticities
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Natural and man-made disasters are occurring at what seem to be more regular intervals. Cataclysmic events make headlines leaving our thoughts as quickly as the channel changes or we put our paper down. International and national organizations now make business by supplementing governmental assistance. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast, a disaster unparalleled in recent United States history. As these kinds of events continue to occur around the world the discussion of rebuilding becomes essential. While the first objective is to expedite shelter for the victims, it is important that long-term recovery addresses the need to provide a safe environment from which domestic and community life can grow in confidence, secure in knowing the necessary provisions have been made to prevent further devastation of the region. Before jumping into developing long-term building solutions, however, we must consider: What is the most culturally responsible way to rebuild? Utilizing New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward as a site (a location which two and a half years post-Katrina has yet to fervently start rebuilding) it becomes apparent that perhaps the answer no longer lies in expediting shelter. This site allows RE-construction of infrastructure and site . Should site mean living at sea level, surrounding by 40 foot high levees? Can a community and domesticity thrive in a situation based on fear of your surroundings? This tabula rasa presents a prime opportunity for investigating new ideas of site and water mediation, specifically allowing the production of infrastructure as site. A more integrated response to water containment could eliminate the fear and RE-construct the sense of place which existed pre-Katrina.