Insuring Artificial Stone
This paper examines experiments to increase the durability of architecture as a means to manage the risk of catastrophic loss through tangible systems of artificial material and intangible systems of insurance. At the intersection of these dyads is Coade’s Artificial Stone Manufactory conducting experiments in architecture to yield an ornament useful in securing capital from 1769 - 1821. Selling goods from the south bank of the River Thames in London, Coade’s made use of a catalog to mediate the global exchange between the site of production and construction. For architects and builders, these commodities construct a modern architecture relying upon cheapness, mass production, and abstraction. The utility of this artificial stone explicates a relationship between durability and catastrophic failure at work in the manufacture of modern architecture.
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