a walking architecture unschool

5. Cartography: Worst Case Scenario

7. Worst case scenario. (CRITICAL REVISION). 

-The project is revised under all worst case scenarios. Solutions must be tested and reliable. They have to work under floods, earthquakes, cold and heat waves, hurricanes, fires, snow storms, wild and careless users, economical collapses... Every place has its own worst case scenario. Although revision is carried out throughout the whole process, it is now when it is a specific action.

Any idea has to be pushed to its limit, to find out its inconsistencies, where they break, degrade, leak, ideally and physically. Although most projects are one of a kind prototypes, each solution needs to be tested so we can predict its performance.

-In this stage we use imagination to test what we think. To verify that what we are designing will work out fine. It is faster and cheaper to imagine than to draw or build. Calculation also helps us to verify that our work hypothesis are correct.




-We need to thoroughly check, check and check. We can’t forget anything. The project cannot have any mistake, neither in its concept nor in its layout.

-As we are not perfect, critical revision will help us to evolve the project. We tend to minimise the cases where this revision tells us to go much backwards. That’s why it is crucial to start well.

LITTLE PATHS (Case studies):

  • Wreckages (case study #12).

EXCURSIONS (Little exercises for young builders while on a journey):

  • Check out all possible worst case scenarios. Natural disasters, aging, rust, dirt, wars, wild users...


  • The world without us. Alan Weisman, 2015.
  • This changes everything. Naomi Klein, 2014.