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BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design

Bethany Roddick

Beth Roddick 1

The Black Box

Winner of the 2021 Practice Experience Placement Award for Outstanding Research

‘The Black Box’, located at The Somerton Hose Hotel, Lockerbie will be a new museum, primarily educating those on the Lockerbie Disaster along with the search for ‘the truth’ and the moral and political dilemma of ‘fake news’. The Lockerbie Disaster occurred on 21st December 1988 involving Flight Pan Am 103. It was an event which shook the lives of every Lockerbie resident and was riddled with fake news and misinformation. In the world we live in today, misinformation through political agendas and the media by news outlets still stands as a widespread issue across the radar. The purpose of this project is to understand the political dilemmas we face today due to fake news, but to also understand the misinformation that tailgated the Lockerbie Disaster.

This project explores a search for ‘the truth’ and the moral and political dilemma of ‘fake news’. On 21st of December 2020, exactly 32 years after the Lockerbie Bombing Disaster, the alleged bomb-maker was finally charged for terrorism related crimes. This is a disaster that shook so many lives and has been riddled with fake news and misinformation. (Mis)information, political agendas, historic reporting through media news outlets and modern social media platforms are complicit within the unfolding of this particular story, but instances of ‘fake news’ have become more prevalent. From recent federal and HM governments to presidents and prime ministers alike, the public trust barometer is at an all-time low with an astonishing percentage of the public happy to accept that their politicians lie and the media lack accountability for what is reported. The choice of building, Somerton House Hotel, specifically references the qualities that domestic architecture, and a building which is locally embraced can provide to create a memorial that the community can identify with. This project ‘The Black Box’ seeks to develop an exhibition, memorial and museum facility, enabling visitors to understand the ‘known facts’ about the disaster alongside misreporting and fake news.

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